MISSOULA – The University Faculty Association at the University of Montana has launched a new fund to aid students struggling with emergency expenses.
The faculty union created the fund to help students struggling with expenses that could force them to not complete spring semester or drop out of college entirely.
“Professors often hear about students struggling with a lost job or broken-down car or eviction, and having heard so many of these stories from our students, we knew we needed to act,” UFA President Megan Stark said.
Stark said the faculty association applied for and received a grant from the Philadelphia-based nonprofit Believe in Students to create the UFA Faculty and Students Together (FAST) Fund.
The FAST Fund creates a source of money that students who are facing immediate financial needs can easily apply to and quickly receive money. The UFA, Montana Federation of Public Employees and UM President’s Office all have matched the initial $5,000 grant.
The fund will help students cover costs like food, rent, medical expenses and utilities, as well as expenses that facilitate remote instruction.
“There are so many issues that affect how a student can perform in school that have nothing to do with academics or working hard,” said Professor Daisy Rooks, who helped establish the FAST Fund. “Our students are struggling with very real-world issues, and this fund aims to help those students so they can succeed at UM.”
The UFA website provides more information for students, an application for the funds, and information for current and former faculty members to contribute to this fund. Please visit http://montanafaculty.org/emergency-student-fund for more information.
The broader community is invited to contribute to a separate Emergency Student Support Fund at https://bit.ly/2UUpbaR.
Applications for the FAST Fund will be reviewed as they are received by a panel of retired faculty members, and UFA members plan to disperse the funds quickly to students in need.