Donations to University allow students to obtain grant money

Jan 11, 2017

Northwest’s Pay it Forward Committee offers students funds in reassurance that they will pay it forward in the future.

The program began in 2008 as an emergency fund loan with a $75 limit. It has since expanded due to additional funds coming into the account from University board members.

Executive Secretary of Student Affairs Sue Nickerson holds a place on the Pay it Forward Committee.

“The program is intended to assist students who are struggling financially while engaging them in available resources to be successful financially, socially and academically,” Nickerson said.

Removing barriers that limit the opportunity to achieve higher education, therein creating equity for all students is one of the programs goals, according to the Pay it Forward Funds online information graphic.

Senior Assistant Director of Federal and State Programs Amee Wilmes said students will not pay back the loan monetarily. Volunteer work at the committee-run Pay it Forward Food Pantry, the Talent Development Center, organization events and office events will suffice as payment instead.

“If we do approve a ‘pay it forward’ [loan] it’s a learning experience for the student,” Wilmes said. “They will visit with financial aid and go over their financial aid to see if there are things they could do to help the student there. We have also had budgeting to help the student. It really depends on the individual’s situation and what they’re asking for.”

Most of the fund will go towards those students in the low to middle income group to assist with higher education. The Pay it Forward Funds’ information page states “student success is not only focusing on academic success, but on relationships, perspectives and well-being that allows students to gain from their experience at Northwest and the program is a form of intervention that will help students succeed not only now but in the future.”

Students may apply for a variety of needs including required medication, unexpected travel expenses and any higher educational expense. Requests are evaluated on a case by case basis.

Alongside the Pay it Forward Fund, the Pay it Forward Food Pantry is another way the Pay it Forward Committee is contributing to university students’ wellbeing. The pantry recently received a $5,000 dollar secret santa donation.

Questions about donating to the fund or the pantry may email be directed to


Published January 11, 2017 @TheMissourian

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