PCCFFAP has partnered with Believe in Students, a national nonprofit organization focused on addressing financial insecurity among college students, to launch a faculty-led emergency support effort at PCC. Believe in Students has worked with the American Federation of Teachers and PCC to offer a $5,000 seed grant to our local to initiate a local site of the FAST Fund (“Faculty and Students Together”) initiative, a faculty-run emergency aid program.
The FAST Fund quickly identifies students struggling to meet their basic needs and gets them small-dollar emergency grants to help them get through the crisis. Our students have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 3 in 5 reporting they have struggled to meet their basic needs over the past year. Students may use grant money for a wide range of needs, such as fuel for their vehicle, a new computer or tablet, medical or utility bills, groceries, or child care.
The FAST Fund was created in 2016 by Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology and a member of the AFT’s Temple Association of University Professionals. Since its inception, this program has provided financial assistance to more than 10,000 students so they don’t leave school before receiving a degree. We are excited to bring this emergency fund to PCC.
As PCC faculty, we often know the unique ways in which our students are struggling and have insight into how emergency funds might allow students to stay in school and focus on their studies. While we recommend that students first access funds available through the college, we hope the PCC FAST Fund might be a way to empower students and faculty alike to keep students in school.Kris Fink, English Instructor
If you have a student who you think might benefit from an emergency grant, please direct them to this simple application. Similarly, if you would like to support the FAST Fund, please consider making a tax deductible donation here.