I'm not able to pay my tuition balance and can't register for next semester until I do.

I'm almost finished with my program but can't cover my Licensed Practical Nurse fee.

I can't afford my textbooks for next semester!

These are real barriers to achievement facing college students in our community. That's why the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) Scholarship team set up the Emergency Scholarship Fund in August 2021. The scholarship provides help with emergency needs that prevent students from completing a degree or training program.

"There is a considerable amount of time between our regular scholarship application openings and funds being dispersed," said Laura Galaviz, director of Scholarships at KZCF. "The Emergency Scholarship Fund is bridging the gaps between scholarship opportunities. We also see this bringing emergency applicants into the regular scholarship cycle and meeting expenses that can't be covered by our other scholarships."

The independent committee that reviews emergency applications is made up of seven Kalamazoo County community members. As of October 2021, over 80 students from various age groups, backgrounds and disciplines have applied for funding. Sixty-six percent of eligible requests have been at least partially funded.

"The two largest requests are for assistance with paying an outstanding university balance and purchasing textbooks," said Meredith Bradford, KZCF Scholarships manager. "Outstanding balances create real barriers to student success. These balances can prevent a student from registering for courses, graduating or receiving transcripts."

Applications for KZCF Emergency Scholarship program are reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply at kalfound.org.

The Community Foundation also holds over 60 other scholarship funds that award millions to graduating high school seniors and returning adult students across Kalamazoo County each year. Starting January 1, 2022, head to kalfound.org and fill out only one application to apply for those scholarships. You'll be considered for multiple scholarships based on your eligibility. The application closes March 1, 2022.

Contact the Scholarship team at schoalrship@kalfound.org for more information.