Press Release

Bunker Hill Community College Emergency Assistance Fund Boosts Student Retention

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Student Emergency Assistance Fund established by Bunker Hill Community College has resulted in a retention rate 15 percent higher than the College as a whole. BHCC President Mary L. Fifield established the program in January 2009 to ensure that the weak economy did not force students to drop out of school.

From January through June 2009, the fund from the College’s budget and supplemented by the MetLife Foundation, made grants totaling $63,000 to 87 students. Due to its success, the College has increased the amount available to $137,000 for the current 2009-2010 academic year, with additional support from the Student Government Association and College Foundation.   

“The weak economy has hit our students hard.  Sometimes an MBTA pass is the difference between going to school or not,” said Fifield.  “This fund is for students who planned their educational finances prior to the academic year and then during the time of their enrollment are confronted with an emergency or unanticipated event that could cause them to drop out of College.”

Students may receive up to $1,000. They apply though the College Financial Aid Office, which makes decisions and distributes the funds within three business days of the application. Grants given so far have included $75 to replace a lost monthly MBTA pass, $428 to replace books and supplies in a stolen book bag and $700 for car repairs for a student with disabilities.  Another $1,000 grant covered payments for cancer treatment. 

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About Bunker Hill Community College
Celebrating 50 years of excellence, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is Massachusetts' largest community college, annually welcoming a diverse community of around 16,000 students. With campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, BHCC extends its reach across several locations in Greater Boston. BHCC is celebrated for its diversity, boasting a student body where 65% identify as people of color and more than half are women. The College also embraces a global perspective, with over 600 international students representing 90 countries and conversing in more than 65 languages. Our commitment to diversity is further reflected in BHCC's designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).