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5 Places to Find Money for College in an Emergency

Don't Let an Unexpected Expense or Shortfall Detour You From Staying in School

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Just like your life before (and after!) college, things happen unexpectedly. And, just like life outside of college, those things can be expensive. Finding money for college in an emergency can be particularly challenging -- and scary.

Fortunately, however, many schools know that "life" happens along the way for many students and have systems set up to help you out. Don't be afraid to ask for help as soon as possible from the following list of resources for emergency college money:

  1. Check with the financial aid office. As frightened as you feel, you are definitely not the first student at your school to run into a financial emergency. Head to the financial aid office as soon as you can, explain your situation, and see what they can do.
  2. Head to the Dean of Students office. Your dean of students may have a special fund set up for students who need help in emergency situations. Make an appointment with the dean and see what he or she can do to help you out.
  3. Talk to your academic department and faculty members. Some academic departments may also have small and/or emergency scholarships for students in their field. Talk to a professor, the department chair, or the department secretary about what your options might be for support.
  4. Check in with any clubs or organizations you belong to. If you're involved in cultural, religious, community, or Greek organizations, they may also have resources available for emergency situations. Speak to the group's adviser or president to see what might be available.
  5. Look for short-term work. Can you work during Alumni Weekend this weekend? Staff something for a big admissions event? Check with the student employment office to see what your options are for finding work -- and a paycheck -- in a hurry.
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