Thanks to a significant investment by the Central Lakes College Foundation, students will now have a housing option near campus. On Friday, the CLC Foundation closed on the purchase of The Pines Apartments, located adjacent to campus.
“This is an opportunity to meet a critical need at CLC by providing an affordable housing option for students,” said Jana Shogren, Director of Resource Development and the Central Lakes College Foundation. “In addition, the net profit from our student housing venture will go directly back into our scholarship fund, which will increase our impact on student success.”
Shogren shared that the CLC Foundation awarded more than $330,000 in scholarships during the 2015-16 academic year.
The effort to provide student housing sparked following a student needs assessment in 2013. The study showed that students were struggling to find affordable housing.
“After years of research and due diligence, the CLC Foundation Board determined that we should expand our mission to broaden the ways we can promote student success,” Shogren said.
To that end, the Foundation board adopted a new mission in September: “To promote CLC student success by addressing financial barriers to pursuing higher education – through scholarships, strong alumni and donor relationships, affordable student housing and other appropriate assistance.”
Hara Charlier, President of CLC, said, “We are thrilled to be adding another stepping stone to student success. With students being our first priority, we are committed to meeting their needs on any level possible, including housing.”
The two housing units and two adjacent lots acquired in the purchase will house about 100 students. The units are near full currently, and the existing leases will be honored.
Another benefit of the student housing purchase is CLC will now be able to bring its Upward Bound summer program on campus. The Upward Bound program, which helps transition low-income high school students into first generation college graduates, previously had to be housed at other Minnesota colleges. Now area high school students will experience college life while living in CLC’s student housing.