Freshman Fresh Start has been awarded a grant from the Cummings Foundation! Check out News and Updates for the full story.

Dear Friends,

Imagine what it would be like for your child – perhaps the first in your family – to be

accepted to college with a full financial aid package, only to discover that you cannot

afford the substantial cost of essential dorm room and school supplies which are not

included in the financial aid award? This issue is rarely acknowledged even though the

additional financial burden on many families may be the difference between their child

being able to attend college or not. And this is precisely the problem that Freshman

Fresh Start (“FFS”) has been addressing, benefitting over 750 students since 2011.

An FFS package provides incoming college students with a “fresh start”. Like their peers,

our students arrive on campus to find their packages of brand-new dorm room and

school necessities, lessening the social and emotional burden of starting their college

experience at a tremendous disadvantage.

We are thrilled to report the following exciting FFS developments during 2021:

• FFS was able to send 142 financially disadvantaged, high-performing students to

colleges and universities across the nation with their dorm room essentials and school

supplies. This includes several students who experienced homelessness during high

school and 11 students from 2020 who were finally permitted to move on campus.

• FFS received a highly-selective six-year grant from the Cummings Foundation! As a

result of this infusion of funds – and the continued generosity of our donors – FFS was

able to increase the number of students we served in 2021 by almost 24%!

• We are delighted to share that our successful and transformational model is being

replicated to help students. With our mentorship, two women from Houston, TX

launched “Freshman Beginnings” in November 2021.

Please consider participating in our annual spring fundraiser so we can sponsor as many

students as possible next fall. The need continues to grow, however, the number of

students we can support is based entirely upon the amount of funds we raise each year.

We anticipate the cost of an FFS package to be $700, which will provide one student with all

of the items listed below.

Please visit our website at to learn more about our

work and to contribute online. Or, you can send a check to:

Freshman Fresh Start,

P.O. Box 81126, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481-0001.

With deepest gratitude from us and the students of the Class of 2026,

Susan Tofias


Ruth Weinstein


Nancy Casper


Rebecca Kannam



While many needy students receive financial aid, the cost of dorm supplies is not included. These are by no means luxuries; they are necessities of campus life.

What’s included in a Freshman Fresh Start package:

• Sheets

• Pillows

• Mattress Pad

• Blanket

• Comforter

• Towels

• Robe

• Shower Caddy

• Hangers

• Surge Protector

• Phone Docking Station

• Storage Containers

• Laundry Bag

• Backpack

• School Supplies

Recipients can choose the color of their comforter, sheet sets and towels from a number of options. Being awarded a Freshman Fresh Start package is considered a great honor. At graduation ceremonies, several high schools announce recipients of a Freshman Fresh Start package along with Merit Scholarship winners and other awards.