About the Emergency Aid Lab

About the Emergency Aid Lab

Reos Partners / July 2018
teacher and student at computer

Despite the effectiveness of emergency aid (EA) in helping vulnerable students graduate, EA is not well understood or effectively administered. Seventy percent of higher education institutions in the U.S. offer EA; however, few have an established program or methodology to ensure that aid has maximum impact on student success.

To help address these challenges, Reos Partners convened the Emergency Aid Lab, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Lab participants — administrators, educators, counselors, students, and other partners from higher education— collaborated to experiment with and refine multiple initiatives related to “how to” create an effective EA program on campus. The learnings from the EAL are being synthesized into the Roadmap for Effective Emergency Aid, which includes an interactive, online course; in-person workshops led by Reos Partners; and ongoing coaching. Combining practitioner-tested guidance with Reos Partners’ processes, the Roadmap guides institutions in designing an effective EA program that meets their institution’s needs. The Roadmap will be available in the fall of 2019. Institutions that are interested in the Roadmap to Effective Emergency Aid should contact: Monica Pohlmann, Principal, Reos Partners, at pohlmann@reospartners.com.

The ultimate goal is a “new normal” in which no student needs to drop out because they don’t have $500 or $1,000 dollars on hand to bridge an unexpected financial need.

To learn more about the lab and its process, which parallels that in the EA Roadmap, view this overview video, this video about student services lessons from the EA Lab, or this video about financial aid lessons from the EA Lab, on Student ARC.