Student Emergency Fund

The Student Emergency Fund at Colby-Sawyer has been established through the generosity of donors to the college who acknowledge that the unexpected can at times occur and who wish to help students remain at the college and succeed.

The intent of this fund is to provide eligible students facing short term, non-reoccurring financial emergencies (that may jeopardize their ability to continue in school) with assistance. Students may only make one request per academic year. Funds are distributed within a dollar range of $50- $750.00 per request. In some cases, only partial need might be considered.

Eligibility requirements

Any Colby-Sawyer College student may apply for emergency funds. Each applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial hardship
  • Experience an emergency, accident, illness, or other unforeseen event among the “covered” examples below
  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student
  • All other resources, including loans through the Office of Financial Aid, have been considered and are insufficient, unavailable, or not available in a timely manner.

Applicants must complete all questions in full and submit supporting documentation as the situation allows.

Possible Expenses Covered by the Emergency Fund

(this list is not exhaustive)

  • Medications and other costs related to emergency medical care (not covered by insurance).
  • Replacement of essential personal belongings or temporary housing needs, due to fire, theft, or natural disaster that are not covered by insurance.
  • Travel costs related to a death or illness in the immediate family.
  • Needs related to personal safety, including the needs of victims of domestic violence, transphobia, or homophobia.
  • Food or transportation needs that impact ability to get to school (car repair, bus passes).
  • Homelessness or sudden loss of housing.
  • Individually-recommended or required services that are considered critical to a student’s success, for example, diagnostic testing for Access Resources.
  • Books and other essential academic expenses
  • Support for emergency dependent-related expenses, for example, child care.
Expenses Not Covered

(this list is not exhaustive)

  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, and study abroad costs.
  • Non-essential utility or personal bills such as: cable, credit card, cell phone, etc.
  • Regularly anticipated fixed expenses (i.e. rent).
  • Costs for entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel or other non-essential expenses.
  • Parking tickets, library or other fines, late fees, court fees, traffic violations, or other expenses mistakenly incurred
  • Funds for the replacement of lost or stolen non-essential items
Application Process

Students in need of emergency financial assistance are encouraged to meet with the Director of Student Success and Retention, who can assist them in completing the brief application. Students can also submit the application on their own without assistance.

Completed applications are reviewed by members of the Emergency Fund Advisory Committee, made up from a cross-departmental membership. A member of the committee will respond to emergency application submissions within two business days of receipt.

Student Emergency Fund Application

The maximum emergency aid allocation to a student will be $1000 per year. Generally, payment is made to vendors or another third party (e.g. medical provider, airline) and not to the student. Payment will be distributed as soon as possible but will depend upon many factors, including whether that vendor is available to the College accounts payable system. In limited cases, payment may be made directly to the student.

Funds disbursed through the Emergency Fund may affect the student’s financial aid package. The Emergency Fund is not a substitute for financial aid. Students who are seeking funding will be required to utilize all offered financial aid resources before being awarded emergency aid. The Office of Financial Aid will work directly with emergency aid applicants to determine the impact of the award, if any, on their aid.

Additionally, emergency funding may create a taxable event that could require reporting to the IRS by the recipient.

Questions: For additional information about the Student Emergency Fund contact Robin Burroughs Davis, Vice President & Dean of Students, at