Student Assistance Image

The Student Assistance Fund allows students in situations of short-term crisis and emergency* to apply for assistance with a qualified expense.  Funding is limited and is available on a first-come basis.  These funds do not need to be repaid.  Eligible students can receive assistance no more than once per semester.  Note: payments are not made directly to students.  If your request is approved, the payment goes directly to the company to which the payment is owed.

*We define an emergency as a sudden or unexpected situation that creates financial stress and affects your ability to continue your college education.


Laptops, bus punch cards, and Café vouchers may also be available.  The eligibility requirements for these items are the same as for the Student Assistance Fund.

Laptop/Bus pass/Café Voucher Request Form


Student Assistance Fund (Bill Pay) Requests

PLEASE NOTE: although this is funding for students experiencing an emergency or unforeseen circumstances, this process may take a few weeks for payment to be received by the company.  Students are encouraged to reach out to the United Way at 2-1-1 (United Way of Decatur and Mid Illinois ( for more urgent needs and for resources outside of bill pay.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Enrolled in at least 6 credit hours for the current term
  • Good academic standing: minimum 2.0 GPA
  • No overdue debt to the college (payment plans are not considered debt)
  • Experiencing an emergency situation
  • Reside in the Richland Community College District

Eligible Expenses

Examples of emergency expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Rent or mortgage payment
  • Utility bills (i.e., electric, water, internet)
  • Car payment or car insurance if attending in-person classes
  • Childcare expenses
  • Medical, dental, or mental health expenses not covered by insurance

Some examples of expenses not covered by the Student Assistance Fund include, but are not limited to:

  • Tuition, fees, and textbooks (please complete a scholarship application for these expenses)
  • Parking permits, tickets, and other fines
  • Credit card bills
  • Past debts
  • Entertainment costs
  • Cable bills
  • Bills not in the student’s name

Application Instructions

  • Student completes the Student Assistance Fund Request Application
  • Student must attach the full bill that includes all of the following:
    • Student’s name and address
    • Account number
    • Amount Due
    • Due date
    • Company’s name and payment address
  • Student must provide an explanation of the emergency situation and attach any corresponding documentation

To allow for equitable distribution of these limited funds, most approvals will be capped at $500.  We reserve the right to make exceptions in extreme circumstances.

The processing timeframe is up to 5 business days for the decision on the application.  If approved, the payment will be sent by mail within 5 additional business days under most circumstances, delivery time may vary.  If more information is required, the request may take longer to process.  Students will be notified via Richland email if the request has been approved or denied.

All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  Please email with any questions.

Student Assistance Fund Request Application