Office of the Dean of Students



ObieCares is designed to provide financial assistance to currently enrolled, high financial need students who are experiencing extenuating circumstances or an unexpected financial hardship that could be a barrier to completing their education. Students may apply for funds if they meet the parameters detailed below and only when all other resources  have been exhausted. Please be aware that this fund is limited and has a declining balance: not all requests will be met with financial assistance. All students may apply, but priority is given to students who are identified as income-eligible through the  Office of Financial Aid.


What constitutes an "emergency"?

ObieCares defines an emergency as an unplanned or unanticipated situation requiring immediate action which, when not taken, may result in the students inability to complete their education. 

What does "extenuating circumstances" mean? 

Extenuating circumstances are defined as an event that is out of your control and is causing extreme hardship for a temporary amount of time.

How does ObieCares define "financial hardship"?

Financial hardship is defined by an inability to pay for an extenuating circmstance due to the amount of overall income and lack of available financial resources.

"Who is considered a currently enrolled student"?

Students are considered currently enrolled if they are degree-seeking students enrolled in one or more credit hours during the semester in which they are requesting ObieCares funding (students who have graduated do not qualify).


ObieCares funding aims to to ensure that emergency sitautions, extenuating circumstances, and/or financial hardship do not cause a currently enrolled student to be unable to progress toward degree completion. 

Examples of an Emergency or Extenuating Circumstance:

  • Accidents
  • Illness and related medical expenses
  • Death of a family member 
  • Damage to personal property due to natural causes or accidents

The list above is not exhaustive for all situations for which a student may seek financial assistance. However, the following situations (non-exhaustive list) would not be eligible:

  • Expected tuition and fees and standard living expenses
  • Summer housing
  • Normal housing/meal costs
  • Internship travel/housing/meals/clothing
  • Non-emergent travel
  • Routine medical care and bills
  • Non-essential expenses (e.g., library fines, parking fines)
  • Legal fees
  • Payments to family and friends

ObieCares funding does not excuse students from participation in college housing and dining per housing and dining college policies.

Am I Eligible?

  • I am at risk of not completing my education due to financial hardship.
  • I can provide documentation of the hardship I am facing.
  • I am currently enrolled at Oberlin College.
  • I have exhausted all other resources.

Who is on the ObieCares Committee?

The ObieCares Committee is a group of professional staff that work in various departments across the college.  The departments currently holding a position on the committee are: 

  • Academic Advising Resource Center
  • Center for Student Success
  • Dean of Students Office
  • Financial Aid
  • International Student and Scholar Services
  • Office of the Dean of the Conservatory
  • Student Accounts
  • Student Health and Wellbeing

Application & Review Process

  • Complete the ObieCares Application Form.
  • Students will receive an initial email establishing receipt of the request within 48 hours.  
  • The ObieCares Committee will review the request within one week and determine if funding is approved.  
    • A decision may be delayed when additional information is required. 
  • Once the application is reviewed, students will receive notification about whether they have been approved for funding, along with details on any additional steps.