Many post-secondary students live on extremely tight budgets. This is definitely the case for most Passport Scholars, who not only live on the razor’s edge financially, but often have fewer natural safety-net supports compared to their peers from intact families.
WPN professionals know that when educational disruptions occur they are often directly or indirectly due to unforeseen, fairly minor expenses. The Passport Scholar Success Fund (PSSF), formerly known as the Barrier Removal Grant (BRG) program, is designed to help Passport Scholars address one-time expenses to support their enrollment, re-enrollment, persistence and completion.
We are happy to announce that the PSSF application, which for the last several years has required a paper application, is now an easy to complete online form.
5 PSSF FAQs
Who is eligible to apply for PSSF funding?
Any active Passport Scholar can apply for PSSF funds should they encounter an unforeseen financial barrier.
What kinds of barriers have PSSF awards been used to address in the past?
PSSF funding is flexible and designed to address urgent financial challenges in a timely manner. The following are examples of how the awards have been used in the past: housing deposits, basic necessities such as food, toiletries, and dorm-room or apartment essentials, car repairs, institutional debts that prevent student from registering or receiving financial aid, legal fees, and more.
What criteria are used to determine if students receive a PSSF award?
- An eligible student submits a complete PSSF application.
- PSSF funding is still available.
- The financial barrier is “one-time” meaning that it is not an ongoing or reoccurring expense for which the student would need sustained financial assistance.
- There is no other resource available that will help the student address the expense in a timely manner.
- Typically awards range from $50 – $1,000.
- Often the student will be asked to contribute to the process of eliminating the barrier either by making a reasonable financial contribution themselves (along with PSSF award) or through other planning or action.
Why are students encouraged to fill out the application form with the assistance of a counselor, student support professional or case manager?
Over the years we have found that applications are most accurate – and therefore we are able to respond in a timely manner – when students fill them out with a professional adult supporter. Once an application is submitted, CSF staff will follow up with the student and professional adult supporters to verify information and engage in collaborative planning. This approach also ensures the student provides the necessary permissions so follow up can be conducted effectively.
How many PSSF awards can a student receive?
Typically students cannot receive more than one PSSF award per academic year. CSF does reserve the right to make award determinations on a case by case basis, and in rare circumstances has made exceptions to this guideline in the past.
Please be advised that if PSSF funds are granted and applied to an educational cost, students receiving the resource have the responsibility of reporting this assistance to the financial aid office at the institution they are attending.