Amherst College established a Student Emergency Fund in the fall of 2020 for students who experience financial strain and need supplemental resources due to temporary hardship. The funding is intended to assist students with meeting immediate needs so that they can continue their studies with minimal disruption.
Please note: We will not be able to approve all requests, but we can assist in directing students toward other funding options, which can include loan options. Also, all requests will be held in complete confidence, with only aggregate information potentially shared with Advancement to further fundraising efforts.
Please review the following eligibility criteria before submitting your form request. Also, review the FAQ below to answer questions about the funding process and additional eligibility requirements.
Annual access grants are part of an enhanced grant program that provides funds to help purchase items like laptops and winter clothing, additional travel, or to cover job search expenses and other items to support their Amherst experience. These funds are automatically distributed; eligible students are notified via email from the Office of Financial Aid.
Who is eligible for the Student Emergency Fund?
The assistance will be available to actively enrolled students at Amherst College.
What are the source of the funding?
Amherst College will be the funding source for eligible students through the generous donations of friends of the College and various other sources.
Who reviews the requests and determines the funding?
Applications will be reviewed weekly (usually on Friday) by a committee consisting of representative(s) from the Office of Student Affairs (Class and Access Resource Center, Office of Immigration Services), Office of Financial Aid, and the Meiklejohn Fellows Program.
What is the application/approval process?
Students must complete the Student Emergency Fund application form (linked below) for consideration and respond to any follow-up inquiries from firstname.lastname@example.org as needed to finalize the requested need.
Emails will be sent to applicants within 1-3 days of of the committee meeting to share the outcome. Approved requests will then be processed through Finexio, the College’s student payment processor. Payments will be received via email - students will receive an email to their assigned Amherst email address from email@example.com with options & instructions for depositing the payment. Payments can be accepted via ACH Direct Deposit, printed for mobile deposit or request a paper check by mail.
The timeline for receipt of payment is typically 5-7 business days following the committee meeting to allow for system processing, College approvals and issuance by Finexio.
Can I make multiple requests?
Yes, students may make multiple requests for distinct emergencies. However, due to the limited nature of the fund, students will be limited to $1,000 annual maximum in emergency funds across all requests.
What is the range of Student Emergency Funds given?
The annual limit per student will be $1,000. Funding amounts can range and will be capped based on specific categories. Requests should be for demonstrated needs that are typically unanticipated and non-recurring. The application categories may change over time depending on current circumstances and general need. Payments received for partial amounts may be due to a capped item or items that are deemed ineligible.
Is documentation required?
Documentation of emergency expenses is required beginning with the fall of 2023. Documentation can include receipts, invoices, or provider estimates. Funds cannot be issued until reasonable cost for the emergency expense can be provided. Upon initial review, further documentation may be requested. Submitting an incomplete application may lead to a delay in the review of a student’s request.
Can I use these funds to purchase a computer?
To support the purchase of an education-related computer, we can refer students to a student loan designated for this purpose through Financial Aid or students can request permission from an external scholarship provider to use toward their funds for this purpose.
Can I use these emergency funds to pay for existing or past due balances?
No, funds will not be granted for the purpose of resolving any existing or past due balance. Students should be mindful and make separate arrangements to resolve any outstanding balances on their student account to avoid future consequences, including academic withdrawal. Funds received may be taxable and will be the financial responsibility of the recipient.
Can an unapproved request be reconsidered?
Students who receive an email that their request cannot be granted, but the request meets an eligible criteria and is unanticipated and non-recurring, may reply with additional information to be reconsidered by the committee at their next regularly scheduled meeting.
Please use the following link to submit your application to the Student Emergency Fund form. Further instructions are on the form page. (NOTE: Login required)
Please contact the office or group directly with specific questions
Updated: September 8, 2023
Wednesday, September 13th, 8am to 6pm in Orr Rink. Come thrift and refresh your wardrobe! We are offering thousands and thousands of free clothes collected during student Move Out – shirts, pants, jeans, shorts, shoes, sweatshirts, sweaters, formal wear, coats, Amherst swag! All for free! You won’t want to miss this communal campus shopping experience.
The Class & Access Resource Center (CARC) offers free academic materials including notebooks, planners, pencils, highlighters, etc to first generation, low-income, transfer, and veteran students. The CARC also offers hygiene supplies including toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, shampoo, laundry detergent, and soap. Stop by Keefe 204, M-F 9am-6pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Information Technology offers short-term loaner laptop, iPad, or deactivated iPhone during repair or replacement of your device. Requests are fulfilled on a first come, first served basis. This service is based on available inventory. The link below will access the request form (login required). Students who need to purchase a computer, can request a loan through financial aid.
The College offers a limited cost subsidy for use with Boomerang Storage. Subsidies cover Boomerang’s one-time registration fee and up to 4 boxes, totes, or luggage (size 4.5 cubic feet or smaller) for one, two or three consecutive terms (Spring/Summer/Fall). Boomerang’s standard boxes meet these criteria. Boxes/totes/luggage numbering more than 4 items, any furniture, and other items are not included in the subsidy, and can be stored, at the typical Boomerang rate, by the student. To learn more about requesting a Storage Subsidy Code please review the details using the link below and complete the request form.
Contact financial aid for needs that are not covered by the Emergency Fund, including an education-related computer, unreimbursed medical expenses, eyeglasses and dental expenses causing pain.