Haverford College Announces New Financial Assistance Program for First-Generation and Low-Income Students
The LIFTFAR initiative will offer supplemental support to address the often hidden needs that exceed the parameters of matriculation-focused financial aid.
Haverford College has launched a new initiative developed to supplement support for low-income and first-in-their-family (or "first-generation") students at Haverford. Named Low-Income and First-in-Their-Family Assistance and Resources, or LIFTFAR, this new program will help ensure that every Haverford student can thrive as they pursue academic excellence, explore co-curricular opportunities, and prepare for post-graduate success at the College.
While Haverford's commitment to low-income and first-generation students has long been expressed in its financial aid policy—which meets all admitted students’ demonstrated need regarding the cost of attendance and study abroad interest—LIFTFAR is designed to address the needs that exceed the parameters of matriculation-focused financial aid. These needs can include unexpected emergency situations as well as those that arise in the regular flow of campus experience when family circumstances preclude pursuing an opportunity open to all for want of a basic necessity.
"We had been responding to these needs in informal ways," says Dean of Student Life Michael Martinez, who is administering the initiative. "Previously students who encountered incidental or emergency expenses would connect with individuals or offices to get their needs met. LIFTFAR will increase access to resources by making the process more systematic and centralized."
Consolidating and expanding resources that have previously been spread across several College offices, LIFTFAR will also serve as a kind of clearing house for ideas and projects serving students needing a variety of support. While LIFTFAR itself will not fund every important need faced by low-income and first-generation students, it will provide a mechanism for identifying concerns and opportunities that sometimes might best be addressed elsewhere in the College. A student advisory committee, to be convened later this semester, will contribute ideas for program implementation and development as LIFTFAR evolves.
"LIFTFAR will also offer opportunities for students to learn about financial literacy––how to obtain and manage resources, undertake personal financial planning over different time periods, and generally expand financial options," said College President Kim Benston, "so that students can make the most of opportunities and plan effectively as their academic careers evolve."
This semester, LIFTFAR has already been deployed, supporting emergency transportation home for students and providing for a variety of other academic-related expenditures. Martinez notes that, while the program's goal is to make the campus' extensive financial, educational, and social resources more accessible, there are expenditures that it cannot support, such as funding for textbooks, which are already covered by financial aid, or for athletic gear, which would be considered an impermissible benefit by the NCAA. Still he and President Benston, who announced the program with a joint email earlier this fall, are excited about the different ways the program can grow to support low-income students at the College.
"LIFTFAR is a great step forward in our institutional effort to support students who are first-generation to college and those who have financial need," said Martinez. "I'm excited about its future prospects."
For more information regarding LIFTFAR's structure, opportunities, and application process, please visit the program's website.