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When you experience a personal crisis or an emergency situation, circumstances may feel overwhelming.

AACC understands that unforeseen financial emergencies occur from time to time, and has established an emergency fund to help meet the immediate needs of students in crisis. If you’re experiencing a specific financial need because of a single traumatic event or an on-going crisis, a HelpLink grant may be able to provide support.

HelpLink grants provide temporary, short-term financial help to students, typically not more than $300 in any academic year for critical expenses including:

  • Child care
  • Food
  • Housing (rental fees)
  • Living expenses (e.g., specified utilities)
  • Medical/health care (e.g., copays, equipment)
  • Textbooks/course materials
  • Transportation (e.g., automobile repairs, bus fare, gas cards, etc.)


To be eligible for a HelpLink grant you must:

  • Be enrolled in an approved program of study at AACC
  • Be in good financial standing (have no registration holds, fines or outstanding tuition or fees)
  • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship
  • Agree to participate in a free student success-related workshop or seminar
  • Not be under investigation or in violation of the Student Code of Conduct or other college behavioral policy

How to Apply

Contact the HelpLink team for an application that will ask you to identify the specific expenses to be covered by the award and a brief explanation of your financial need.

Complete your HelpLink application.

Referrals by Faculty

Faculty may initiate a HelpLink request for students by completing and submitting a HelpLink referral form located in the MyAACC self-services tab under faculty. 

Distribution of Awards

The HelpLink team considers many factors when making a decision to approve or deny an appeal, including:

  • The nature and urgency of the student's emergency
  • The totality of the student's hardships
  • Other resources or support the student may or may not have available to them
  • The specific and immediate impacts the emergency may be having on the student's living and academic circumstances

In most cases, students receive support via voucher, direct pay, or college account transfer or reimbursement. Cash support is never issued. Awards typically are available within three business days. A student may request assistance multiple times in a term, but HelpLink awards should not exceed $300 in an academic year except in extraordinary circumstances as determined by the team, or in the matter of an appeal, by the dean of Student Engagement.


The office of the Dean of Student Engagement shall serve as the custodian of HelpLink records, which are confidential and considered official education records subject to the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA). Information about the student or their circumstances will be shared only with third parties who have a legitimate need to be informed and only at the request or permission of the student seeking support.

How to Donate to HelpLink

If you would like to support HelpLink, you can make your gift through the AACC Foundation, via credit card or PayPal, through our online form. If you prefer to send a check, make it payable to the AACC Foundation, write "HelpLink" in the memo line and mail to the AACC Foundation, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD 21012-1895.


We're here to help.

Helplink Team


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