Student Emergency Fund: Supporting Access and Success in Higher Education

Tri-C Foundation provides resources to advance student success and transform the lives it serves.

Tri-C improved equity in outcomes for disadvantaged students and students of color and increased the number of students who have obtained college credentials. While graduation rates are rising, unexpected financial emergencies have dire consequences for students to continue on their educational pathway. The loss of a small income or savings forces students to forego their studies to pay for an emergency. The Student Emergency Fund provides critical financial support of up to $450 that can be the difference between a college dropout and a college graduate. To continue to address this need of a community with a poverty rate in Cleveland of 36% and 18.1% in Cuyahoga County (US Census Bureau Fact Finder Report 2012-2016), the Student Emergency Fund helps students overcome financial crisis that directly impacts their ability to attend class. The fund fills the gap in student assistance beyond books and tuition. Emergency funds are available to students experiencing financial crisis.

More than half of Tri-C students work while enrolled in college - as employer requirements change, some students may take fewer classes or not attend for several semesters. Many of our students are adult learners who are also raising families, making it more difficult to pay for tuition and educational expenses. Even with federal financial assistance and scholarships, some students leave college in mid-semester or drop out altogether because they encounter short-term financial emergencies. These populations of students that are often faced with these financial struggles may also include veterans who have exhausted their benefits have challenges to stay enrolled. A gift of $25,000 will impact a minimum of 55 individuals at $450 per student. This amount was determined though research. A small decrease in financial resources can delay or abruptly end the educational pathway to a college degree. State Farm’s support can help students stay enrolled and continue towards college completio

For two years, the Student Emergency Fund has aided 158 students with support totaling $57,065 to help them continue in their college pathways. By supporting this Fund, State Farm can make an impact on breaking the cycle of poverty in our region by providing uninterrupted access to educational programs that lead to degrees and credentials to secure livable wages. A grant helped “Sarah”: Sarah lost everything in a house fire, and used the Student Emergency Fund for clothes and necessities while continuing her education. Students receiving support can access financial literacy instruction, budget planning and receive referrals to community services for additional support. This holistic approach helps families now and into the future. Tri-C Foundation seeks investment to sustain the Student Emergency Fund. State Farm’s engagement in this Fund will impact the lives of many students who, without assistance, may not achieve their lifelong dream of becoming a college graduate.