Tonn Fund Helps Students Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care

Melissa Tonn

Melissa Tonn

In addition to her role as a clinical assistant professor of population health at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Melissa Tonn serves as the chief medical officer at OccMD Group PA in Dallas. Dr. Melissa Tonn is a past-vice chair of the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents. Her involvement with the university has included establishing the Tonn Emergency Aid Fund for adult students who have aged out of the foster care system.

The fund provides financial assistance for students experiencing unpredictable turmoil and financial emergencies that put their education at risk. Situations that may qualify students for emergency aid include homelessness, inadequate food access, and the possibility of losing necessary utilities such as water or electric. Emergency funds may also go toward significant uncovered medical expenses for the students or their children. Students may not use funds for routine expenses or as a supplement to their educational funding.

In order to qualify for aid, students must have aged out of foster care and either plan to enroll or already be enrolled in the semester after the award period. They must also provide documentation of their emergency and remain in good academic standing with the university. Furthermore, the student must be enrolled in a minimum of nine credits during the award semester. Students approved for aid may receive emergency funds only once per semester.