To help students who experience emergency financial problems, Mercyhurst College has established the Alumni Emergency Scholarship Fund.
This special assistance program helps students who have a demonstrated financial need and have exhausted all other financial resources.
In the few months since fundraising began for it, donors have contributed nearly $10,000 to get the fund started.
Gary Bukowski, vice president for institutional advancement at Mercyhurst, explained the concept.
"We know that unexpected troubles can hit a student at any time," he said. "There aren't always conventional ways to give a student help in those situations. The last thing we want to do is see that student lose the opportunity for a college education.
"With this scholarship fund, we will have a source of financial aid available for those students facing a drastic situation," Bukowski said.
The Alumni Emergency Scholarship Fund has had a good reception with the college’s donor community in the early stages. More than 120 alumni, parents, and past parents designated their gifts and pledges to the fund during the college’s annual phonathon held in January and February.
Bukowski ultimately hopes to raise a pool of $100,000 for the fund, but if needs arise for students before that goal is reached, the college will go to the emergency scholarship fund to get them help.
"We're ready to help them now with the funds raised to date," Bukowski added.