Resources for Students Facing Economic Challenges
The goal of this project is to identify sources of support for Five Colleges students with economic challenges. Some of the resources are for those who are experiencing temporary difficulties, while some (such as state aid) are more long term. The information is current as of Fall 2006. This guide is a project by the Five Colleges, Inc. Americorps*VISTA for Community-Based Learning. For questions or feedback about the information presented here, contact:
Goodell 609C, UMass
Short-term loans are available any Amherst student for emergency purposes and in case of financial need not covered in the usual procedures for long-term loans. Loans vary between interest-free and interest-bearing. The Morris Morgenstern Student Loan fund and the New England Society loan fund provide a limited number of interest-free short-term loans. Other, interest-bearing short-term loans are available through the college's Student Loan Fund. See the Financial Aid Office to find out if you qualify for an emergency loan. 202 Converse Hall. (413) 542-2296
Students are required to either prove that they are covered through another source, such as your family’s plan, or purchase Amherst College’s health insurance plan. If your family does not have health insurance, there is a scholarship available that would cover the cost of the Amherst College insurance. Ask the Office of Financial Aid for a health scholarship application, or download the form.
For students who come into Hampshire with no family health insurance and a low EFC, there is a grant available that will cover at least part of the school’s insurance fee. Contact Student Financial Services to request a review of your package if you think you would be eligible for the grant. Blair Hall. (413) 559-5484.
Student Accounts can provide interest-free short-term loans, which must be repaid within 30 days. Checks can only be disbursed on Wednesdays and Fridays. Students can borrow up to three times per term. Blair Hall, 1st Floor. (413) 559-5484.
Mount Holyoke College
Center for Global Initiatives
The Center for Global Initiatives offers emergency loans of around 0 for international students. The interest-free emergency loans can only be used to pay for unexpected medical bills that insurance won’t cover emergency, dental bills or airfare home for family emergencies. The loans cannot be used to pay for university bills, books, or general cash needs. Donna Van Handle, Dean of International Students. (413) 538-2072.
Smith Student Aid Society
Smith expects all students to budget for buying books as part of their financial planning for college. Students whose book costs exceed their budgeted allowance may apply for aid from the Smith Students’ Aid Society. Students are required to explain the reason for their request as part of the application. Funds awarded are given in the form of book vouchers, redeemable only for books at the Grécourt Bookstore in the Campus Center. Funds are limited and reserved for emergency needs. Students can apply only once within an academic year (fall or spring) and should not expect to be funded every year. Contact SSASBookVouchers@email.smith.edu or Anne White in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel for an application.
Short-Term Loans or Funding
A limited amount of funding in the form of loans or grants is available to students in need for emergencies, special programs and some unanticipated events. Some things that may qualify for emergency funding are airfare home for the death or severe illness of a member of the immediate family and emergency medical/dental care, including prescription glasses, not covered by insurance. In addition, some emergency funds are available to apply toward the purchase of books or art supplies required for a student's courses. Other unanticipated events that might qualify for funding are travel related to a student's coursework (such as to attend a professional conference) or to a co-curricular activity. Student Special Funding Application is available in the Dean of the College's office and the Class Deans' office. Some other sources of emergency funding:
Ada Comstock Scholars Program
Emergency grants and loans for Ada Comstock Scholars for a variety of situations, including attending conferences and other programs, and medical/dental expenses. Contact Erika Laquer, College Hall 4.
A special funding program available to all students. Limits for interview clothing, travel costs for interviews, graduate school application fees, Fine Arts portfolio expenses. Contact Anne White, Chapel.
Funds for student personal needs and travel for conferences/retreats/special programs related to religion, ethics or community/public service. Contact Jennifer Walters, Chapel.
Funding for books, emergencies, conferences, special studies projects, travel to interviews, etc. Restrictions: Student must be receiving aid; funding is given only once. Contact Anne-Marie LaFosse, College Hall 23.
Dean of the College
Emergency funding for medical needs, books, travel for urgent family matters. Also, funding to attend conferences and for special studies work. Bridge loans to students waiting for money to arrive. Contact Susan Zachary, College Hall 21.
Office for International Students
Funding for international students for travel, academic expenses, eyeglasses. Individual or group expenses for trips, graduate school applications and testing expenses, Winter Recess housing, conferences. Also, personal and medical expenses while in the U.S. Contact Hrayr Tamzarian, Clark Hall.
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Emergency support for medical and dental care, eyeglasses, medications, travel for urgent family matters. Contact Mentha Hynes-Wilson, Clark Hall, 2nd floor.
Funds for individual students to attend conferences, professional meetings, retreats and workshops. Funding is provided for an individual student only once per academic year. Restrictions: No funding for courses taken for academic credit. Jeannine Pease, College Hall 25.
Smith Student Aid Society
The Student Aid Society provides emergency grants for personal expenses, medical expenses, medical emergencies. There are also grants for academic enhancement such as summer or Interterm study, supplies for fine arts courses, field trips and Beyond Smith. Some Student Aid Society short-term loans are available through Student Financial Services. Contact Anne White at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel.
Student Financial Services
Funding is available for financial emergencies. Restrictions: Only for students on financial aid, usually high-need students. Go to Student Financial Services, College Hall 10.
For students who come into Smith with no family health insurance and a low EFC, the financial aid package will usually include a grant that will cover at least part of the school’s insurance fee. If you did not receive one and think you would be eligible, contact Student Financial Services to request a review of your package. College Hall, room 3. (413) 585-2530
The Dean of Students Office offers emergency short-term loans in the amount of 100 dollars for students. The money cannot be used to pay university fees or parking tickets. If it is being used for textbooks, the student must supply a list of the course and the book titles. The interest-free loan must be repaid within one month. Failure to repay the loan can result in a registration block or even administrative withdrawal from the university. Emergency loans can be utilized more than once, provided that there is no outstanding loan. Dean of Students Office, 227 Whitmore. (413) 545-2684.
The Student Legal Services Office provides basic legal information to UMass students and graduate students. Some issues that the office has assisted with in the past are: housing disputes, consumer complaints, civil rights questions, employment laws and many more. Advice is free, while representation may be available at reduced rates. All of the office’s attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff are bound by ethical codes of confidentiality. 922 Campus Center. (413) 545-1995.