About Us

How We Got Started

Believe in Students was founded in 2017 to address the ways that college students were struggling to navigate a broken system for addressing the price of college. Our Founder, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, donated the proceeds from an award she won for her ground-breaking book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream This funding helped establish the FAST Fund, the organization’s flagship program, empowering faculty members to support students struggling to meet their basic needs with emergency cash assistance.

Our Mission

We support college students striving to overcome basic needs insecurities, so they can persevere in their academic journey, graduate, and begin a career. This enriches society and leads to a better world for all.

Our Programs

Our programming supports students with a dual focus: providing resources to help them meet their immediate needs right now; and, for the long term, building coalitions of students and higher education professionals to advocate for changes to better address these issues for all students.


Fast, effective emergency aid

Provides flexible, timely, and direct emergency grants to striving college students, addressing urgent needs and emergencies that can otherwise derail their educational journey.

#RealCollege Curriculum

Master class for higher education professionals

Highly engaging, self-paced learning taught by experienced students and practitioners to share research, best practices and personal experiences with strategies to support today’s #RealCollege students.

Changemakers Fellowship

Building a network for systems change

Highlighting the existing gaps in the higher education system and the misalignment with the needs of today’s #RealCollege students, we aim to shed light on a pressing issue that necessitates innovative solutions.

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