The TOPS College Success Program is able to offer emergency assistance to TOPS Scholars who are  facing financial hardship due to an emergency, accident, or other unexpected financial crisis, whose academic continuation can be ensured by a small stipend. These unforeseen expenses are considered those that, if not resolved quickly, could lead to the student’s temporary or permanent departure from college. These stipends are $500 or less, but could be increased under special circumstances as determined by the review committee.

The TOPS College Success Emergency Fund is open to TOPS Scholars who are enrolled in continuing education for the current or upcoming semester. Apply here.

Recipients of emergency funding will be required to:

  • Attend a meeting (or phone calls) with their TOPS College Success Coach after funding is provided to create a budget plan and discuss academic success.
  • Provide TOPS College Success Coach with regular updates on their status.

Students facing financial challenges should also consult the following resources. These resources are not endorsed by the TOPS program and are meant to be used at your own discretion:


  • Badgercare Plus: A healthcare program providing insurance for low-income Wisconsin residents. You can apply at any time, online or in person.
  • Family Planning Only Services: Provides men and women with income levels of less than $3,075.30/month with certain family planning-related services and supplies to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
  • Free or low-cost medical clinics
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance: Brings together America’s biopharmaceutical companies, health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients who are uninsured or underinsured get free or nearly free medicines through the public or private program that’s right for them.
  • Rx Outreach: A nonprofit pharmacy committed to helping people get the medications they need at an affordable price.
  • Pfizer RxPathways: Connects eligible patients to a range of assistance programs that offer insurance support, co-pay help, and medicines for free or at a savings.
  • FamilyWize: Negotiates with the pharmacies to get discounts similar to what they give large groups like insurance companies and employers.


  • FoodShare Wisconsin: FoodShare Wisconsin was created to help stop hunger and to improve nutrition and health. FoodShare helps people with limited money buy the food they need for good health. If your family’s net income is at or below 100% of the FPL after your credits have been subtracted, you may be able to get FoodShare benefits.
  • TEFAP: A federal program that provides food commodities to distribution sites. Food pantries and prepared meal sites receive commodities and they are distributed with other foods.
  • Mobile Food Banks: Offered by Second Harvest Food Bank, which sends trucks into areas that need a little more help than other traditional pantries, meal sites and shelters are able to provide. Usually households can go home with 50-75 pounds of a wide variety of food from a mobile pantry stop.
  • Allied Food Pantry: Serves anyone in the 53711, 53713, or 53719 district once every 4 weeks.
  • Bashford Food Pantry
  • CMC Food Pantry
  • Other food pantries in Madison