Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

Even when students have a plan for paying their tuition, fees, books, and other costs, unexpected – and often emergency – situations arise that can upend students’ plans and budgets.  For many of today’s college students, a car repair or a medical bill can be the difference between staying on track to graduation or dropping out.  More and more colleges and universities are developing aid programs to help students with these expenses.

There are a variety of different types of emergency aid programs, including campus vouchers, completion scholarships, emergency loans, food pantries, and restricted and unrestricted grants. Word of mouth is often the primary method of sharing information about emergency aid programs, which unfortunately does not reach many students in need.  While aid programs vary across colleges and universities, programs with strong program administration, communication, and sustainability often serve students the best.

Our work in emergency aid supports the creation and expansion of effective emergency aid programs so more students are able to continue with their education and stay on the path to graduation.