Emergency Fund for Students

NOTE: The FAST fund is not currently taking new applications for support. In our first three weeks we received over 280 requests for emergency support from UM and Missoula College students. We gave out almost $22,000 in awards, which exhausted all of the money in the fund. We’re continuing to fund raise to support students, and as soon as we have more money in the fund, we’ll start accepting new applications. Thank you for your understanding.

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, please contact ASUM’s Renter Center for help negotiating with your landlord. If you are hungry or running low on food, please reach out to the Missoula Food Bank and the campus food pantry for provisions.

We, the faculty at the University of Montana, have heard from many students who struggle with unexpected emergencies like a lost job, a crisis in housing and medical needs. These trials often threaten a student’s ability to succeed in higher education.

The University Faculty Association (UFA), the faculty union at UM, is mobilizing to help students at the University of Montana and Missoula College.

The UFA has received a grant to begin a FAST (Faculty and Students Together) fund. It is funded through a grant from Believe in Students and also by donations from the UFA, the Montana Federation of Professional Employees, the UM President’s office, and current and retired members of the UM community.

This fund is intended to provide emergency support to students. As the non-profit organization that created the FAST fund concept explains, “Just like your parents helped you pay that last-minute bill, or your friends spotted you cash when you were short, we help college students who have nowhere else to turn.”

FUNDING PRIORITIES:  INELIGIBLE EXPENSES INCLUDE:
Rent
Internet access
Food
Transportation
Health
Child care
Books and School Supplies
UM Fees
Tuition

Criteria for awards

In order to receive an award from this fund, applicants must

  • be currently enrolled at the University of Montana OR Missoula College, and
  • need emergency assistance.

What size awards does the UFA’s FAST fund make?

Awards from this fund will typically be between $100 and $400. However, you should apply for the amount that you need and we will do what we can to meet as much of your need as we can.

Will an award from the UFA’s FAST fund count against my financial aid?

No. This fund is run independently by the UFA.  The faculty union sought support and created this fund to aid students in the midst of an emergency and its awards are not included in your University account. These funds come directly to you from a non-profit fund and are intended on helping you cover documented costs associated with this crisis.

Is there a GPA requirement to receive help from the FAST Fund?

No. The fund exists to help students in need of emergency assistance.

How confidential is my application? Who will read it?

A group of retired UM faculty will read and discuss your application, and then will decide whether to give you an award or not. This group will coordinate with members of the UFA’s board to disburse your award.

How do I apply?

The FAST fund is not currently taking new applications for support. In our first three weeks we received over 280 requests for emergency support from UM and Missoula College students. We gave out almost $22,000 in awards, which exhausted all of the money in the fund. We’re continuing to fund raise to support students, and as soon as we have more money in the fund, we’ll start accepting new applications. Thank you for your understanding.

How to donate

In order to keep the fund going, we encourage current and former faculty to consider contributing to the Montana FAST fund. If you are interested in contributing please visit this PayPal link. (Please note: after you have indicated the amount of your donation in PayPal, you’ll see a line that reads “special instructions to the seller.” As long as you put University of Montana or UFA Fast Fund in that line, 100% of your donation will make it to the UFA’s fund.):

Or you can mail a check, being sure to put the University of Montana in the memo line to:

Believe in Students, Inc.
c/o Richard Binswanger
272 Brandywine Drive
West Chester, PA 19382

If you have questions about the fund, or the best ways to support the fund, please contact UFA board member Daisy Rooks via email at daisy.rooks@umontana.edu.