National Mentoring Community

NMC Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees (BEAM) Fund

A Grant Program of the National Mentoring Community

This initiative is made possible, in part, with generous support from the Kenton and Amy Brown Fund.

There can be times in an undergraduate student's experience when an unforeseen financial emergency threatens their ability to continue their studies.

The NMC Bringing Emergency Aid to Mentees (BEAM) fund provides small grants to NMC Mentees who are facing sudden financial emergencies so that they can continue their physics studies and earn their degrees. Students can apply and, if approved, receive funds within two weeks.


Who is Eligible?

This fund is only for NMC Mentees.

Additional eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Must identify with an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority population that is in the focus of the NMC (Black/African American, Latinx, Indigenous)
  • Students must be pursuing, and on track to attain a physics undergraduate degree or an undergraduate degree in a closely related field, such as engineering physics, applied physics, astrophysics, or biophysics
  • Students may receive funds only once per semester (fall, spring, summer)
  • Students must complete the application
  • Students must not have exceeded the $5,000 maximum lifetime limit

What Qualifies as an Emergency?

In order to apply, the financial emergency must meet the following criteria:

  1. The emergency is unforeseen and/or sudden
  2. The emergency will impede the student’s ability to attend school or stay in school
  3. The emergency aid will allow the student to continue studies once the acute situation is stable
  4. The emergency is an (unanticipated) allowable expense

What are Allowable Expenses?

  • Medical expenses (including dental care and eyeglasses)
  • Sudden moving expenses or change in living expenses (including housing/rent, utilities)
  • Transportation
  • Childcare
  • Schooling costs
  • Food
  • Travel home for family emergency
  • Tuition (if the fee impedes graduation or matriculation)
  • Past due student account balance (if balance prevents enrollment or graduation)
  • Financial loss associated with an emergency like fire, accident, theft, eviction, etc.
  • Legal expenses
  • Other expenses not listed here that are deemed emergency expenses

Quick Links

NMC Account Login

APS Direct Deposit Form format_pdf

W-9 Tax Form (U.S. Citizen) format_pdf

W-8 Tax Form (non-U.S. Citizen) format_pdf

NMC Contact Information


Phone: (301) 209-3622

Fax: (301) 209-3635

Who Submits the Application?

NMC mentees fill out and submit an initial application, which is then sent to the NMC mentor* to provide additional information for the review committee.

*If you are an unmatched mentee, please email to receive instructions on how to apply.

How Much Can I Request?

Most NMC mentees will request between $100 - $1000 at a time. Keep in mind, however, that there is a lifetime limit that will not exceed $5,000, which means that once you reach that amount, you may lose eligibility to request BEAM funds.

Note: BEAM funds are considered taxable income and may affect your financial aid package. We advise each student to check the impact of their request with their financial aid office.

How Do I Apply?

Step 1: Speak with your NMC Mentor

Speak with your NMC Mentor about your financial emergency. They may have access to resources that can help alleviate your emergency financial need more quickly. Your NMC mentor will be asked to provide additional information to the BEAM fund review committee* on your behalf, so this is an opportunity to share details with them.

Step 2: Fill out the application

Log in to your NMC account and click the link for the BEAM fund application. Fill out all required information and submit the application. Your NMC mentor will be notified that you have applied and will see a copy of your application. They will be asked to provide additional comments, which are then sent to the BEAM fund review committee along with your application.

If you would like to provide any supporting documents such as bills or emails to be shared with the review committee, you may scan them into one PDF document and upload the document on the next screen.

Step 3: Complete & submit the application
  1. Download, complete, and email a direct deposit form format_pdf to so funds may be sent electronically. If you are approved and you do not have a bank account, a check will be mailed to your NMC profile address within two weeks.
  2. Download and complete the W-9 tax form format_pdf (or W-8 tax form format_pdf if you are not a U.S. citizen). Write legibly on the form "NMC BEAM Application" and email ( or fax (301-209-3635) to APS.

Note: Please include your social security number on your tax form, it cannot be processed without this.

Step 4: Application review & notification

The BEAM fund review committee will review your completed application as soon as possible and you will be notified within 7-10 business days of their decision.


Please contact us at, or (301) 209-3622 if you have questions or concerns.

* The BEAM fund review committee is comprised of faculty members from the APS Committee on Minorities in Physics and APS staff.