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Effectively Designed Emergency Aid Programs Increase Retention and Completion

We can help you create a program that delivers results.

Want to Talk?

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Approximately 3 million U.S. students drop out of college each year due to a small, unexpected expense—such as a medical bill or car breakdown.

While 70% of colleges provide some form of emergency aid (EA), few have robust programs that offer maximum potential for impact on student success.

A Proven Solution:

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Institutions that have undertaken a pilot version of the Roadmap are reporting strong results:


Austin Community College (ACC):

EA recipients are returning, semester to semester, and graduating at a higher rate than non-recipients. ACC has experienced a three-fold return on investment from tuition.


Florida International University:

88% of 2018-2019 EA recipients enrolled in the following quarter or graduated during the school year.


University of Washington:

90% of students who utilized EA between May 2018 and August 2019 stayed enrolled or graduated.

About the Roadmap

The Roadmap to Effective Emergency Aid guides higher education leaders in transforming informal EA efforts into a comprehensive program that increases student retention and completion.

The process is delivered through:

An interactive, online course

In-person workshops


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group workshop
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More than 100 higher education leaders, students, and faculty worked together over 18 months in the Emergency Aid Lab, undertaking a process similar to the that of the Roadmap.

Here is what lab participants have to say about Roadmap’s impact:

Perspectives from lab participants

Student Services learnings from the lab

Financial Aid learnings from the lab

Reos Partners: Perspectives on the Emergency Aid Lab
Reos Partners: Student Services learnings from the Emergency Aid Lab
Reos Partners: Financial Aid learnings from the Emergency Aid Lab

The Emergency Aid Lab was led by Reos Partners and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Reos Partners

Reos Partners helps organizations work in a systemic, collaborative, and experimental way to design breakthrough solutions to complex challenges.

We will guide you in creating an EA program that works – and in the process, transform the way teams work together to address your institution’s highest priorities.

“I don’t think most of us will look at our work the same way ever again.” Tori Hill, Financial Aid, University of Washington, Tacoma.

Melissa Curtis

“It used to be the best-kept secret on campus. Now we are telling people about it. We’re teaching people how to discuss it with students. We are empowering faculty. We’re empowering staff. And so the students are coming. Emergency aid is already working.”

Melissa Curtis, Enrollment Management, Austin Community College

Want to create an effective EA program for your institution? Contact us!

Reos Partners is an international social enterprise with 20 years’ experience facilitating collaboration to catalyze transformative change on challenging social, environmental, and economic issues.

© 2022 – Reos Partners