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Emergency Fund for Women of Color

The Emergency Fund for Women of Color, a small discretionary fund, was created in June 2001 through generous donations from a diverse group of Smith College alumnae. The alumnae recalled those times during their undergraduate years when they did not have enough money to pay for necessities such as books, or a personal crisis such as bus fare home for a sudden illness or funeral.

"We would help each other, taking up collections for a sister who needed it," recalls a member of the Class of 1974. "We felt there should be a real mechanism in place…and we want to give something back."

Requests for Funding

Requests for funding are reviewed by the director of multicultural affairs, who assesses the financial need of each student requesting assistance.

Please note: An emergency is an unexpected, serious and urgent situation, or unanticipated event, requiring prompt action. Examples include treatment for an acute medical or dental condition, payment for medication, replacement of eyeglasses, and travel funds for an urgent family matter. The Emergency Fund is not a replacement for financial aid, and is intended to cover incidental and unexpected expenses of modest amounts.

If you are unsure of whether something would be covered, feel free to contact Director of Multicultural Affairs L'Tanya Richmond at extension 4940.

How to Apply

Required for Application

Write a letter of petition detailing the expense and why you feel you should receive funding. In circumstances where the emergency is obvious this letter can be brief, otherwise some cogent explanation of why this situation qualifies as an emergency should be given.

After Applying


Responses are expedited, but still may take a day or two. Students will be notified via their campus e-mail regarding the status of their request. Preapproval is required and bills should be submitted to OMA for direct payment to the business or biller. Funds are not made available by Campus OneCard or direct deposit. Reimbursements are not granted.

Thank-You Letters

Students approved for emergency funding are highly encouraged to write a thank-you letter of gratitude. The letter should be addressed to "Whom it May Concern" and submitted to the director of multicultural affairs either in person or by campus mail to: Multicultural Affairs, Clark Hall, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063. Thank-you letters should be received within five business days of the approved funding date.