Assistant News Editor

Between tuition, room and board, and other fees, there seems to be an endless flood of college expenses. Sometimes campus activities exceed the standard tuition and fees where students are left to scramble together funds or are unable to participate based on the inability to gather funds in time.

Fortunately, Denison makes an investment in its students by providing grants funded by alumni contributions. The Red Thread Grant offers students support for “campus engagement and co-curricular experiences…as well as emergencies and hardships” according to the administration’s announcement.

The Red Thread Grant is a result of a projected started last fall. The project looked at students’ financial well being and allowed student development to understand the unanticipated expenses that hinder students lives through surveys and one-on-one student interviews.

A lot of the expenses students mentioned in interviews were health-related, according to Julie Tucker, Assistant Vice President of Student Development.

“At school, you may not think about your eyeglasses breaking or special testing costs from Whisler,” Tucker continued.

Campus engagement and co-curricular experiences that can be funded by the Red Thread Grant include: club dues, fees and uniforms, transportation, tickets to Campus Leadership and Involvement Center (CLIC) sponsored events in Columbus, and fees associated with Denison student organizations. Additionally, emergency and hardship expenses that can also be covered are medical, dental and vision expenses not covered by insurance, clothing, and unanticipated travel due to family/home emergencies. The grant usually awards a maximum of $300 to cover costs.   

Designed to support students from low-income or middle-income backgrounds, Red Thread Grants are need based and accommodate students’ experiences at Denison that extend beyond the classroom. Though the maximum amount of funding is set at $300.00, each application for the grant will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Student development sees this year very much as a pilot for the grant. It’s something the department hopes to continue each year, but will make modifications if needed. The funds are not endless, but in the case that the grant runs dry, Tucker believes there will be a way to accommodate students in need.

According to Jenny Pearlman, Executive Assistant in Student Development, only one application has been submitted so far, but faculty and students are encouraged to spread the word about this opportunity.

Julie Lam ‘19 mentioned that she hadn’t heard of the grant until now but would “definitely apply for it because it offers students more opportunities to engage in on campus that they might otherwise not have tried without the grant.” The name “Red Thread” stems from the intertwined support between alumni and current students. Applications for the grant can be found on MyDenison under campus resources.