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President's Student Emergency Fund

The President's Student Emergency Fund was created by the HCC Foundation, with President Christina Royal and through the generosity of alumni and friends, in order to assist students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency that would prevent them from continuing their education. The Student Emergency Fund is intended to assist students so that they may continue their studies and successfully complete their coursework. Dollars are intended for unexpected emergency expenses. Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis based on the criteria listed below.

To be considered eligible, the student must:

  1. Be currently enrolled at HCC;
  2. Have successfully completed six (6) credits at HCC;
  3. Demonstrate (a) an emergency situation or (b) unanticipated and compelling circumstance that results in a financial hardship that will prevent the student from continuing/completing their academic pursuits at Holyoke Community College.

Note: The PSEF is no longer available to students only enrolled in noncredit workforce development or continuing education courses. 

Before applying for PSEF funds, students are encouraged to consider and/or utilize other sources of funding and support, as appropriate. Examples include: 

  • Resources and referrals provided by the Thrive Center/Food Pantry (Frost 223);
  • Potential Financial Aid emergency loans (Frost 201);

Requesting PSEF funds is appropriate when these and/or other sources of relief are unavailable or cannot be accessed in a timely manner.

Students who meet the above eligibility criteria may submit appeals related to a range of financial hardships that will prevent them from continuing/completing their academic pursuits at Holyoke Community College. Examples include:  

  • Past-due housing costs resulting in imminent eviction;
  • Costs associated with temporary housing due to homelessness;
  • Emergency medical, dental, or mental health expenses that are not covered by insurance;
  • Replacement costs of essential personal belongings that are not covered by insurance, lost as a result of fire, theft, or natural disaster;
  • Temporary emergency dependent-related expenses, such as child or elder care.  

Expenses that will not be considered include:

  • Tuition, fees, and student loan payments;
  • Costs of books and other standard expenses associated with attending college;
  • Regular utility costs (e.g., gas, electric);
  • Non-essential utilities (e.g., cable bill, cell phone bill); 
  • Household and furniture costs;
  • Costs of optional programs, entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel, and other non-essential expenses;
  • Parking or speeding tickets;
  • Legal fees;
  • Clothing

Priority for Student Emergency Funds will be given based on:

  1. The urgency of the situation;
  2. The student's overall financial picture and level of hardship;
  3. The impact of the situation on the student's ability to pursue their education;
  4. Whether or not the student has explored and availed themself of appropriate alternative resources and services.  

Click here for a PDF of the application, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. The form may also be completed and submitted online.

Applications received by 8 a.m. on a Tuesday will be considered that week; applications received after 8 a.m. on a Tuesday will be considered the following week.

HCC aspires to be a college of academic excellence known for helping students overcome barriers to success. With this in mind, all applications for Student Emergency funding will receive careful consideration, and every effort will be made to ensure that students are provided access to the resources necessary to enable them to succeed and thrive.

The following resources are available to help students overcome barriers to achieving their educational goals:

Thrive Center
FR 233

Food Pantry
Thrive Center (FR 233)
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Financial Aid
FR 201
Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you have questions regarding the President’s Student Emergency Fund, please contact:

Ben Ostiguy
Thrive Center Coordinator

To support the President's Student Emergency Fund, please click here.

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Ben Ostiguy

Special Programs Coordinator

Thrive Student Resource Center

Frost 234

413.552.2349 (Tel)