Even when financial aid covers tuition expenses, students are often left to cover the cost of housing, food, utilities, books/academic expenses, and other necessities. Many students work to cover living expenses, but living on a tight budget or encountering unforeseen expenses can threaten their ability to remain in school and graduate. An unexpected car repair, an unbudgeted textbook purchase, a smaller than usual paycheck due to illness - these everyday situations force students in economically precarious circumstances to make difficult choices and can derail a student’s goal of earning a university degree.
The Student Care & Emergency Response Fund (SCERF) provides fast financial resources for students. Students encountering difficulty meet with a Dean of Students Office staff member and explore a range of support services, including the possibility of receiving an emergency microgrant. The process for applying for and receiving emergency funding is straightforward and expeditious. While not all funding requests can be fully met, the goal is to provide maximum possible aid to every student in need. So far, for the 2017/18 Academic Year, the Microgrant Committee has awarded 36 students emergency grants. The average grant is between $300 and $500 and Figure 1 demonstrates how contributions assisted students this year!
Through your generosity, students with emergency financial needs will receive immediate support, allowing them to stay in school, remain focused on academic success, and graduate. When it comes to the Student Care & Emergency Response Fund, no contribution is too small. 100% of the money you contribute will go directly to students in urgent need.
Students seeking more information about the Student Care & Emergency Response Fund and other University support services should contact the Dean of Students Office at 413-545-2684.
Finally, help us encourage others to donate by sharing why you donated at #iSupportStudents #UMassGives.