Emergency Aid Programs in Texas


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“Low-income students,” as noted by Scott Carlson, “are often one car breakdown, one illness, one unexpected mishap away from dropping out of college and not being able to return for a while, if ever… the biggest barrier to poor students’ enrolling or staying in college is not tuition and fees, but everything else: rent, food, child care, gas, phone bills.”

Emergency aid programs help students with unexpected expenses so they can stay on the path to graduation. Even when students have a plan for paying their tuition, fees, books, and other expenses, unexpected – and often emergency – situations arise that can destroy students’ plans and budgets. For many college students, a car repair or a medical bill can be the difference between staying on track to graduation or dropping out. More and more colleges and universities are developing aid programs to help students with these expenses.

In 2017, the Emergency Aid Network (EA Net) was formed to help build a base of knowledge about how emergency aid programs operate and impact students at Texas colleges and universities. The EA Net included leaders from 10 Texas higher education institutions. Through regularly scheduled meetings, EA Net members identified compelling strategies and best practices for effective emergency aid programs. The Texas Emergency Aid Report: Advocating for Emergency Aid Programs represents a culmination of the EA Net’s findings and is available below along with other emergency aid resources. 

Additional Emergency Aid Resources

Emergency Aid Mini-Grants Grantees

  • Alvin Community College
  • Central Texas College
  • Lamar University
  • Lee College
  • McLennan Community College
  • Midland College
  • Northwest Vista College
  • St. Edward's University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Victoria College
  • Wharton County Junior College

Emergency Aid Mini-Grants Report Submission Forms


* Survey was adapted with permission from the Emergency Aid Programs Survey by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). For permission to use the Texas Emergency Aid Programs Survey, please contact Heather Marsh, Texas Higher Education Foundation Executive Director at Heather.Marsh@thecb.state.tx.us