By: Asha Tompkins, Staff Writer
While students across the map are thrown for a loop in their academic careers, USM continues to remind its own students that valuable resources have been established in these times of crisis, specifically the Student Emergency Fund.
This fund is available for “students facing immediate financial crises, from unforeseen travel expenses and medical expenses to other financial emergencies,” stated President Glenn Cummings in his Monday Missive on March 23. “Award amounts typically range from $100 to $500.”
According to the Student Emergency Fund website, these funds are provided to students in the form of grants. The awards are “determined by committee based on the individual need.” As such, the decisions regarding the amount will be made on a “case-by-case basis.”
It’s important to note that these awards are not loans. There is no repayment required. However, some funds might be “considered income and are therefore subject to federal taxes.”
Students that fall under the criteria below are eligible (more information can be found on the Student Emergency Fund website):
- Currently enrolled
- In good standing
- Demonstrate financial hardship due to an emergency situation, or for unanticipated and compelling circumstances that jeopardize the student’s ability to successfully continue in school.
- Consider and utilize other sources of funding as appropriate, such as recommended student loans, unless not available in a sufficiently timely manner.
- Students seeking assistance during summer sessions and are not enrolled but are registered for fall courses may qualify for alternative forms of assistance.
Some “expenses that will be considered include, but are not limited to” (more information can be found on the Student Emergency Fund website):
- Medical, dental or mental health emergencies not covered by insurance
- Travel in case of the death or illness of an immediate family member
- Medication/prescription expenses
- Safety-related needs
- Support for emergency dependent-related expenses (i.e. child care)
- Individually-recommended or required services that are considered critical to a student’s success
Some expenses that will not be considered include (more information can be found on the Student Emergency Fund website):
- Tuition, fees, room and board, other standard expenses associated with attending USM for individuals already receiving need-based financial aid
- Fines, late fees, traffic violations or court costs
- Costs of optional programs, entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel and other non-essential expenses.
HOW TO APPLY:
Simply fill out the funding request form, which is an easily accessible 9-question survey.
If you would like to make a donation to the fund during this time, please visit: https://www.givecampus.com/schools/UniversityofSouthernMaine/usm-students-need-you-more-than-ever#updates