Start Green, Stay Green: Providing students financial relief when they need it most

Aug. 28, 2019

Start Green, Stay Green: You've got this. We've got you.Do you know a student who can’t pay for books or food, needs an emergency loan or doesn’t have a place to live?

UNT has introduced the Start Green, Stay Green program to ensure students are receiving the financial assistance they require.

“One of the No. 1 reasons for students withdrawing from UNT is financial issues,” says Joey Saxon, associate vice president of Student Financial Services. “The Start Green, Stay Green program was created to help our students and change that reality.”

This spring, several departments provided an informal “triage-type service” to students who indicated they were planning to withdraw within the first two weeks of class. Those areas included the Dean of Students Office, Student Financial Services, Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, and the Student Money Management Center.

Saxon says after UNT staff worked directly with these students to provide them with the financial assistance they needed, dozens chose to stay at UNT. That success led to the formalized Start Green, Stay Green program to help students navigate the financial assistance offers available to them.

“Every student has a story,” Saxon says. “They may need money for books, living expenses. We’ve heard from students who are homeless. Sometimes they just need a little extra help or just have an outstanding balance that prevents them from enrolling. The program allows offices to coordinate in order to provide as much assistance as possible.”

The program, which started July 1, has since received more than 170 requests for additional assistance. While not every student can be helped, Start Green, Stay Green has successfully assisted over half of those in need. Saxon says the response has been extremely positive and the departments leading the program have received many grateful notes.

“When I got this email, I cried and cried and cried!” wrote one student who had received notice of assistance. “One day when I am in the position to do so, I will pay this forward. I’ll always remember how you have helped me.”

How it works:

Start Green, Stay Green can work in a few different ways. Students may visit the website, where they will find a list of financial resources. Or, for more specific assistance, students may submit an electronic form that will be sent to Student Financial Services. Within 24 hours, the information about the student’s situation will be distributed to offices that may be able to assist. Each student should receive a response within two to three days. Students with urgent situations will receive same-day assistance.

How faculty and staff can help:

Be aware that there are financial resources available for every student on our campus. Visit the website to see what types of assistance are available there, and if you see that students are struggling, make sure they know what Start Green, Stay Green can offer them.