Counterbalance came about after concerned members of the A-B Tech campus community noticed a trend where historically marginalized students, also known as underserved student populations, were disproportionately represented on the past due balance list and in deregistration processes. This inequity has a direct impact on the enrollment, retention, and success of our underserved students. In response, Counterbalance was designed as a program to help decrease the support services barriers and financial barriers our students experience, in order to increase your overall success while here at A-B Tech. In other words, we don’t want access to supportive resources to prevent students from receiving a quality education that can lead to limitless career possibilities.
How do I know if I qualify for the Counterbalance Project?
To be eligible to participate in the Counterbalance Project, you must be a student from an underserved population:
- A student who is living in poverty or is served by schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty.
- A student of color.
- A student who is a member of a federally recognized Indian Tribe.
- An English learner.
- A child or student with a disability.
- A disconnected youth.
- A migrant student.
- A student experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
- A lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex (LGBTQ+) student.
- A student who is in foster care.
- A student without documentation of immigration status.
- A pregnant, parenting, or caregiving student.
- A student impacted by the justice system, including a formerly incarcerated student.
- A student who is the first in their family to attend postsecondary education.
- A student enrolling in or seeking to enroll in postsecondary education for the first time at the age of 20 or older.
- A student who is working full-time while enrolled in postsecondary education.
- A student who is enrolled in or is seeking to enroll in postsecondary education who is eligible for a Pell Grant.
- An adult student in need of improving their basic skills or an adult student with limited English proficiency.
- A student performing significantly below grade level.
- Be a student who:
- Owes a balance to A-B Tech prior to 2020
- Is currently on the list to be deregistered from class(es) due to nonpayment
- In need of financial support or is experiencing financial hardship
- In need of supportive services
Be a student who lives in one of the 18 counties of Western North Carolina or the Qualla Boundary, including: