LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Life can often get in the way of a college education but a new program at the College of Southern Nevada could help remove some of those barriers.
The school recently introduced a Student Emergency Fund to provide short-term financial assistance to students to cover "educational-related expenses such as rent, utilities, books, tuition, transportation and child care." The funding can also be awarded to help replace essentials after a natural disaster, fire or theft.
"It is very much a Band-Aid, but we hope it can help as many students as possible," CSN Associated Student Body President Andrew Sierra said.
Sierra says he knows the money could help because friends often approach him when they are short on cash for books or gas.
"Usually it tends to be during the first couple weeks of the semester," Sierra said.
The fund does have a limit of $250 per student, per semester and requirements that must be met. A panel of 2-3 administrators or faculty members and a student leader make a decision on whether to award the money.
That committee is working to make a decision within two days but with the fund in the early stages, some things are moving slowly in the beginning.
"We've asked some of the students to send a little more information because we don't want to make it seem like a free-for-all," Brian Akins, Director of Student Affairs said.
The Student Emergency Fund was started with a $10,000 contribution from CSN and $3,600 in donations from the school's Winter holiday dinner.
That money hopefully helping to address some of the needs that can force students to drop out of school.
A nationwide study by the Hope Center estimated about 12 percent of community college students are homeless and more than 40 percent of students are food or housing insecure.
"Hopefully with the student emergency fund we are able to address some of the non-academic needs students have to keep them in school," Sierra said.
Applications for the Student Emergency Fund can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interested in donating to the fund should also start by reaching out to Akins in the Student Affairs office as well.