The beginning of a school term often means another round of financial stress on college students. Textbooks, calculators and other course materials regularly put a strain on students that their financial aid might not cover.
One of the ways that the University of Oregon assists students is through a loan called the UO Emergency Loan. Through the Business Affairs office, current students who are in good standing with their billing accounts can borrow up to $300 in cash for 90 days. The loan can only be borrowed once per term or semester, and comes with an $8 service charge.
Loans like this aren’t unique to UO — Oregon State University also has an emergency loan for up to $350, and Portland State University also has a loan for up to $600.
Students who are looking for the loan can find it in the Student Billing Center at the Thompson University Center on E. 13th Avenue.
Krista Borg, the director of student financial services in the Business Affairs office, says that the emergency loan program has been operating since 1994 on their current accounting system.
The money comes from donated funds, and the money paid back from the funds is recycled to pay for the next student loan. Last year, the Business Affairs office issued 926 loans.
“The UO Emergency Loan Program started in order to assist students with short-term financial needs, such as purchasing books or paying rent at the start of a term prior to financial aid disbursement,” Borg said.
This is not the only short-term loan students can get. Graduate students can use the Jesse M. Bell Graduate Loan and Fund, which can loan a maximum of $500 and is due within 30, 60 or 90 days after receiving the loan. It’s also available for graduate employees who anticipate being paid late and can be estimated for up to $1,000.
The UO School of Law also offers a loan for up to $2,000 from the Coyle and the Carpenter Busselle loan funds.
Alex Bellizzi, an education graduate student, said he used the loan to pay for a term’s worth of expensive textbooks.
“I consistently find it hard to pay for school,” Bellizzi said. “I prioritize rent so that leaves money for books or food to fall to the wayside.”
Bellizzi says that the loan does come in handy, but don’t forget about it — it rapidly accrues interest.
The emergency loan does have penalties for going unpaid, Borg said. If a student doesn’t pay it back within the allotted 90 days, it goes to the billing account and will incur interest, fees and other penalties.
Junior Takur Conlu had never heard of the loan and says that it sounds like a really good resource for those who could use it.
“It’s interesting how I’ve never seen any sort of advertising or nothing to bring awareness to it,” Conlu said. “I’m not sure that students who are in need really know about it.”
Applying for the fund does have a deadline for each term. For spring term, the loan is available from March 25 through June 21.