SAFE Fund  
(Student Assistance for Emergencies) 

The SAFE Fund is focused on preventing students from dropping out mid-quarter by helping cover an expense that may otherwise pull them away from their studies.

The SAFE Fund is a response to a growing trend of students dropping out or failing to complete courses because of financial hurdles which force students to choose between paying for their school related expenses or paying for basic needs such as rent, utilities, transportation and groceries . By offering one-time emergency support, students are many more times more likely to complete to the end of the quarter and reach their overall academic goals. Students have to be referred by a faculty or staff member, and be in good academic standing. Funds are not provided directly to the student, but rather payments are made directly to landlords, utility companies, or vendors.

Green River staff work with students to make sure they have tapped all other resources such as local food banks and human service programs before using SAFE Funds; and funds are not used if it is likely the student will be back in the same predicament the next month. Being judicious with these funds has allowed the staff to stretch the available dollars and serve an average of 20-25 students per year with an annual budget of $10,000.

RECIPIENTS

  • Academic traits:
    • 80% of recipients were enrolled in professional/technical programs.
    • 20% of recipients were pursuing university transfer degrees.
    • The average recipient's GPA was 3.10.
    • The average recipient had attended GRC for 5 quarters and earned 50+ college-level credits.
    • 100% of summer and fall recipients continued at GRC after receiving an award.
  • Demographic and financial traits:
    • The average award recipient's age was 35 (vs. 22 for all students).
    • 19 of 20 students were female.
    • 60% were single parents (vs. 9% of all students).
    • Recipients were twice as likely as other students to be receiving need-based financial aid, and over 50% were eligible for food stamps.