Emergency Book Loan Fund Increases to $50,000

Every little bit helps, especially when it comes to assistance with paying for college necessities, such as books. Paying for books is a challenge for many students, especially with the recently increased tuition.

"I didn't know how I was going to pay for my books next semester. I have so many other expenses," said student Yesenia Jimenez, 19. That is where the growing pool of money being put into the Associated Student Emergency Book Loan fund comes to the rescue.  

A proposal to allocate money to the emergency book loan fund, submitted to the AS Board by AS Director of Financial Support Kyle Szesnat, passed on Monday, October 12. This decision will add $30,000 to the existing $20,000 in the pool of book loan money available to students. The grand total of $50,000 will be supplying more students with additional money and giving ease to students scrambling to come up with money for books.

More than five years ago, when $20,000 was granted for the emergency book loan, it allowed 130 students to receive a loan of $150.  The additional money provides more flexibility. "By putting the additional $30,000 into [the book loan fund] we won't have to be as selective as we were before and turn some students down," said Szesnat. "We'll be able to help 200 students out with a maximum of $250 dollars."  

Students are given 30 days to use the loan, and an additional 30 days to pay it back. According to Szesnat, "If worst comes to worst and it isn't repaid in the time frame, then a hold will be placed on their student account until they can repay it." Even so, students seem enthusiastic about the Emergency Book Loan.

"Even if it is just a loan, it helps somewhat," said Jimenez. "If I haven't gotten my paycheck from work or I don't have enough money, then I can use the loan until I can scrounge up the money. I will definitely be taking advantage of this."

Jimenez's sentiment resonated with other students'. "In this economy where money doesn't come easily it's really important for us students to know that we have resources," said Aria Askari, 21. "I'm getting a book loan every semester. Book loans and book accounts are the best ways to help us."

The loan is available to students that are deemed eligible to receive financial aid. Students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Szesnat said, "If you're hurting for financial aid or a loan to buy your books, you should complete a FAFSA because you'd most likely qualify for the Pell Grant." The only exceptions are AB540 and international students, who do not qualify for financial aid.  

Students may inquire about the application at the Financial Aid office by  requesting an Emergency Book Loan Application.