Comcast Extends Internet Essentials to Community College Students in Illinois

collegestudentshuffComcast Corporation announced a pilot program today that will make Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income families, available to more than 90,000 low-income Illinois community college students who are Federal Pell Grant recipients.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, community colleges enroll as many as 40 percent of all college students each year.  As low-cost, open-access institutions, community colleges serve a high percentage of non-traditional students, including those who are low-income, are financially independent, have dependents, are first generation, and are older.
For millions of Americans, community college is one of the most accessible paths to a post-secondary education and a brighter future,” said Cohen.  “By offering an affordable Internet connection and computer, Internet Essentials will enable low-income community college students to access educational resources not just at school but also at home.  In addition, Internet Essentials will link these students to crucial digital literacy training programs that will help them as they complete their studies and continue to have a positive impact after graduation.  Students need support at every level of their education, and extending Internet Essentials to community college students highlights our commitment to providing them the support they need, whether in elementary, middle, or high school or pursuing post-secondary education.”comcastxfinitylogo
According to research, an associate degree increases the chance of being employed by 12 to 15 percent for men and 20 percent for women.  In addition, according to the Community College Resource Center, an associate degree increases average earnings compared to a high school diploma by 13 percent for men and 21 percent for women.  In 2012, the American Association of Community Colleges estimated community college graduates added $809 billion in income to the U.S. economy in higher wages, increased productivity, and multiplier effects. Additionally, according to an Illinois Community College Board report, completing a community college program increases lifetime earnings by 44%, or over $570,000, compared to those who do not complete a program.
Since its inception in 2011, Internet Essentials has been available to eligible primary and secondary school students and their families.  In Chicago, more than 30,000 households have been connected to the Internet, benefitting 120,000 residents, which is more than in any other city in the country.  More than 55,000 families in the Chicago metro area and 65,000 families across the state of Illinois have been connected.  Nationally, Internet Essentials has connected more than 500,000 households, giving 2 million low-income Americans access to the power of the Internet in their homes.
College-Students-ComputersLow-income community college students in Illinois must be recipients of Federal Pell Grants, the nation’s largest need-based grant program, in order to qualify for Internet Essentials.  According to the most recent data on community colleges from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an average of 40 percent of students attending two-year community colleges receive Federal Pell Grants—the nation’s largest need-based grant program. In Illinois, an estimated 90,000 community college students attending schools within Comcast’s service area receive Pell Grants, and would be eligible to apply for Internet Essentials.
It provides low-cost high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.  Eligible families must have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, charter, and homeschooled students.  For more information or to apply for the program, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376.

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