SVC and Area Filling Stations Fuel the Drive for Higher Education

April 25, 2011

In addition to hundreds of residential students, Southern Vermont College provides an education to more than 200 students who commute to classes every day. Some of these students are the first in their family to attend college and stay close to home to save the costs of on-campus room and board. These “non-traditional” commuter students often have families and jobs and have returned to school to earn a degree and build better lives. Sometimes the little details of their commute–like filling the car with gas–can mean the difference between success and failure.

With gasoline prices on the rise and reaching heights that challenge budgets considerably, Southern Vermont College has partnered with area filling stations to help ease that burden for commuting students. All Service Citgo, Cumberland Farms, and Earl’s Service Station in Bennington and  Drake Petroleum/Xtra Mart in North Adams, Massachusetts have all recently donated gas cards for student use. Martin’s Laser Wash gave gift certificates for complimentary car washes.

Earlier this month, commuter students were invited to enter their names into a drawing, and 15 students were awarded gift cards. Barbara Bates, a Health Management & Advocacy senior who commutes from Rutland, called the card, “an end-of-the-semester life-saver. I quite literally coasted into the parking lot this morning.”

SVC President Karen Gross said, “While many people would not think the cost of fuel could impact success at the end of the semester, there is a link. We want students to be able to concentrate on their coursework and be able to get to and from campus without stress. I laud the participating stations for supporting higher education and helping the SVC commuter students.”