New fund helps students deal with unexpected crisis

Applications are now being accepted for a new fund established by Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro to help students facing unexpected financial setbacks. The “Good Samaritan Fund” offers monetary assistance to enrolled students dealing with hardships like robbery, fire or a crashed computer.

“When a student’s finances are low, these kinds of setbacks can be enough to keep that student from succeeding in the classroom,” Castro said. “It is important that Fresno State has a dedicated fund so that students know the support is there when they need it the most.”

“It’s sad when you see students who often times have nowhere else to turn,” said Jennifer Stemwedel of the office of Scholarship and Student Affairs Development. She points to several examples of students in need, including an international student who needed help flying home to attend his mother’s funeral.

Fresno State has offered this kind of assistance through the Parent’s Association since 2005, but the establishment of the Good Samaritan Fund will create a more stable source of funding. Castro identified the fund as one of four priority projects through the President’s Circle for Excellence, an annual giving program focused on student success.

Since Castro announced the fund last year more than $11,000 has been raised in private support.

“An unexpected calamity shouldn’t force a student to stray from the classroom or, worse, drop out,” said Ray Steele, President of the Fresno State Foundation and a donor to the Good Samaritan Fund. “This fund can help students facing an emergency situation make the right decision to continue to pursue that dream of a college degree.”

Students can download the application form online. The applications are reviewed by the Good Samaritan Fund committee and awards coordinated through the Financial Aid office.

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Tom Uribes

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Public Affairs Specialist, University Communications
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