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Kaine Cosponsors Bill to Provide Financial Stability for College Students Faced with Unexpected Emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine cosponsored legislation to help ensure college students are able to stay in school in the face of unexpected emergencies. For many students, paying for college requires carefully balancing student loan debts, jobs, and studies, which can be easily derailed by an unexpected costly event. The Emergency Grant Aid for College Students Act, led by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), would provide financial stability for students struggling to manage a sudden death in the family, car repair, medical bill, or other financial emergencies that too often force students to drop out of school.

“No student should have to drop out of school when faced with unexpected financial costs,” said Senator Kaine. “This legislation would help provide support to students in need and ensure they can continue pursuing higher education.”   

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced campuses to close, resulting in millions of college students facing unexpected costs, Congress provided funding for higher education institutions to provide emergency grants to give students the resources they needed to stay enrolled. Yet college students face emergencies all the time, not just during the pandemic, and the consequences of these disruptions are significant. Data shows these events are particularly disruptive for Black, Latino, Native, and low-income students. 

The Emergency Grant Aid for College Students Act would authorize a grant program for institutions of higher education to provide emergency grants to college students to help them get through unanticipated emergencies. These grants would be administered by individual campuses and, unlike student loans, would not need to be repaid.