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Bentley Magazine


Help Over Hardship

Fund eases unexpected financial strains on students

Caroline Cruise

The mark of a strong community is how it lifts up its members when they are down. 

The end of the spring semester brought a number of challenges that tested our community’s spirit. Not surprisingly, Falcons everywhere stepped up to support each other.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged in Massachusetts, Bentley acted swiftly to keep students safe and not interrupt their education. However, this necessary quick response left some students struggling — international students were not able to return home because of travel restrictions; others could not afford flights; some worried about lost wages from student employment.

The Bentley community rose to the challenge and established an Emergency Assistance Fund, led by a $65,000 commitment from the Board of Trustees. In the first three months, 400 donors raised $200,000, and more than 200 students benefited from the fund.


Maureen Flores
We want to do everything we can to help our students’ educational experience be as consistent as it can be in the current climate.
Maureen Flores
Vice President for University Advancement

“It was a very proud moment for Bentley,” says Maureen Flores, vice president for university advancement. “Alumni, staff, faculty and friends came together immediately when this unprecedented emergency put a financial — and consequently an emotional — strain on our students. Bentley rallied quickly and impressively to helped hundreds of students through this crisis.”

As Bentley’s leadership team learned how much the fund helped students during a global emergency, it became clear that such support should be available all the time to see students through many kinds of challenges. The Emergency Assistance Fund has been renamed the Student Hardship Fund, and will ensure that every Bentley student can focus on their education when facing unexpected duress.

“Financial hardship should never interrupt a Bentley education,” says Flores. “We know our students are resilient and have already persevered through many challenges. While some difficulties are beyond our reach, this is one area where we can have an impact. We want to do everything we can to help our students’ educational experience be as consistent as it can be in the current climate.”

Support the Student Hardship Fund.

Undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in the fall trimester will be eligible to apply for funding. In addition to bridging travel challenges, which were the primary drivers for the fund’s launch, the Student Hardship Fund will assist through changes in employment status, food insecurity, unexpected health care costs and more.

Rallying around students in need has been a hallmark of the Bentley community since Harry C. Bentley founded his school in 1917. The Student Hardship Fund is one more way that this tradition will continue for years to come.

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