Students are encouraged to apply if they need help

BISMARCK, ND — Unexpected financial burden affects many people, but some college students feel the burden more intensely and with life-altering consequences.

“One day my car started making sounds,” said a University of Mary student who wanted to be unidentified for this story. When she took her vehicle to the mechanic, she learned that it would need extensive repairs that would cost over $800. This financial burden came out of nowhere. Just like that, she had to figure out how she would pay for this. She had recently heard about the Dash Grant and received an email about it. She hesitated about applying. After all, maybe someone else needed the money more than she did. However, a friend prompted her to apply and pointed out that the application process would be the judge of whether or not she should be awarded the money.

And so she applied for the Dash Grant. By the next morning she was told to bring in a quote from the mechanic. The check from the Dash Grant funds was sent directly to the mechanic and the potential financial crisis was averted. This student says that the whole process was, “a super positive experience that relieved a huge financial burden.” She mentions that there is a stigma that is sometimes associated with receiving financial aid. Some people may think it shows weakness to ask for help. However, she says that shouldn’t stop her fellow students from applying. “It never hurts to apply.”

Betsy Hermanson, the Dash Program Coordinator at the University of Mary says the grant does what it is supposed to do—provide for unexpected financial emergencies. The program was created to help students stay in college and meet their educational goals. The Dash Grant can help in areas that other programs may not cover, such as rent, utilities, childcare, medical expenses, and vehicle expenses. Qualifying students could receive a one-time grant up to $1,000.00. Unlike a loan, this funding does not need to be repaid. Payments are made within two days of an award decision. The process for checking eligibility and applying to the grant is extremely easy and fast. Hermanson assures students that she is available to answer any questions and guide them through the process.

For more information, Hermanson recommends visiting:

With academic responsibilities such as attending class, completing assignments on time and studying for exams, many college students simply do not have the time to commit to part-time or full-time jobs and this can create unstable financial situations. Budgets are often very tight. The Dash Grant is particularly effective in times such as these.

Allison Meyer, a student majoring in both elementary and special education, shares her Dash Grant experience. “I simply filled out the application, attached a few other documents and that was about it. The entire process went through the Student Success Center, which made communication very easy. I would simply go down to Betsy’s office or send her a quick email to get my questions answered. After only a week or two I had the gift card in my hands and the rent applied to my account,” stated Meyer. “The Dash Grant has lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. Because I am student teaching this semester, I am not able to work very much, so I have been stressing about money. Once I received the Dash Grant, I was able to breathe a little easier knowing I had a few months’ rent and groceries already paid for. I wish I had known about this Dash Grant long ago.”

Other University of Mary students, who wish to remain anonymous, reflected on their similar experiences with the Dash Grant:

“I was contacted within hours of applying. Staff was friendly. My experience with the Dash Grant was wonderful!”

“This money helped me out tremendously and I’m so thankful!”

“This was such a blessing.”

The Dash Grant is an incredible opportunity for students who are under financial stress. As one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary is once again happy to offer another opportunity for students to enjoy the college experience without financial hardship, and is pleased to provide this resource as a way to effectively contribute to their overall success.