To help students complete college studies after facing a tragedy or emergency, seven SUNY schools will experiment this year with creating a student emergency aid program.
The schools include two Hudson Valley community colleges, SUNY Orange and Dutchess Community College. The pilot program will provide financial help to students facing situations that could jeopardize their ability to continue studies, such as homelessness or threat of eviction, a medical emergency, natural disaster, domestic violence, theft or loss of employment.
The fund could be used by students to help cover rent, utilities, clothing, furniture, medical expenses, back-up child care, back-up transportation or replacement of stolen items needed for school.
The Student Emergency Aid is funded by a grant from the Gerstner Family Foundation and the Heckscher Foundation for Children, as part of a collaboration with the SUNY Impact Foundation. The two foundations have committed a total of $600,000 to establish this seven-school pilot program.
The SUNY Impact Foundation will administer the program and study the effectiveness of the effort. Initial grant awards, dependent upon undergraduate enrollment, range from $50,000 to $100,000 to each SUNY campus. Along with SUNY Orange and Dutchess Community College, grants were awarded to the University at Albany, University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State, Cayuga Community College and SUNY Oneonta.
Applications for emergency funding are open to students starting with the spring 2018 semester in January. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in at least six credits and must be seeking a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.