Guide to Distributing Emergency Aid to College Students: Recommendations and Sample Distribution Protocol

September 2017

Clare Cady and Sara Goldrick-Rab

Emergency aid is a critical resource for students facing economic shortfalls that can disrupt their education. In more than a dozen studies of undergraduates from low and moderate-income families conducted over the last decade, we have observed the approaches and practices for aid distribution that affect its efficacy. These lessons are documented in Sara GoldrickRab’s latest book, Paying the Price, and in a series of papers and blogs authored with the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, including a report on emergency aid. We draw on that body of work, along with lessons from studies conducted by fellow scholars, to offer the following ten recommendations for the implementation of emergency aid.