Ascendium details how colleges have learned to probe for the underlying issues that contribute to financial emergencies, and are connecting students to community agencies as well as offering enhanced campus resources.
While the report offers many lessons learned and insights, three key messages prevail:
- Colleges created an institutional culture where students feel safe asking for help.
- Colleges are more aware of students' holistic needs.
- Emergency aid is a vital retention tool.
For many low-income students, an unforeseen car repair or medical bill can mean the end of their college hopes. While typically not large expenses, they can be enough to force these students into a tough choice: stay in college or pay the bill. Since its inception, Ascendium's Dash Emergency Grant Program has helped more than 100 two- and four-year colleges throughout the U.S. implement emergency grant programs on their own campuses.