New aid program will help low-income students through unexpected emergencies

Our students' success is our top priority, and the Dash Emergency Grant allows us to provide for students during financial emergencies.

Sarah Olejniczak
Dean for Student Affairs

For students who are struggling to make ends meet, a setback such as an unexpected car repair or medical bill may represent a major financial crisis, causing that student to withdraw from college.

To keep low-income students on track to earn their degrees, Mount Mary is establishing an emergency aid fund through an $84,000 Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates.

By quickly removing financial distractions, students can refocus on their studies and continue toward graduation.

“Our students' success is our top priority, and the Dash Emergency Grant allows us to provide for students during financial emergencies,” said Sarah Olejniczak, Dean for Student Affairs. “Through this grant, we will also be able to provide students with referrals to additional resources and programmatic support, which we are confident will lead to greater success for our students and their continued retention at the University.”

Mount Mary serves a significant population of low-income students; some 62 percent of Mount Mary students are eligible for Pell grants, meaning, they meet federal guidelines for need-based financial aid.

Mount Mary is one of the first four-year colleges in the region to receive a Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes. The expansion of this grant program builds on the success two-year colleges have achieved since Great Lakes began offering this type of support in 2012. These colleges report students who receive emergency grants stay in school at better rates and graduate in larger numbers.

“We’re pleased to extend our Dash Emergency Grant to Mount Mary University and other four-year colleges to help more at-risk students overcome financial obstacles to completion,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes.

Other schools in Wisconsin receiving –Dash Emergency Grant funding include Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Edgewood College, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.