Emergency Grant Requests Up Due to COVID-19

Income Loss Hits Rent Bill Hardest

Posted April 8, 2020

Over the past two weeks, the University’s Emergency Grant program has received as many requests for assistance as in all of the fall semester.

Carolyn Nelson, who manages the Emergency Grant funding, said students most recently seeking the maximum $1,000 one-time funding are facing loss of income due to COVID-19 related shutdowns.

“The emergency grant is one way that the University shows it cares about students,” Nelson said. “We try to help students navigate an unexpected financial bump in the road so they can just be regular, stressed-out college students and not worry about how they will get to their jobs, if they will be evicted from their apartments or if they will be able to eat today.”   

Funded through ongoing grants applications, the University General Fund, and Campus Drive fundraising, the Emergency Grant program does have finite annual funding. Applications are reviewed and qualifying grants approved while funding lasts. Criteria for students to qualify can be found at www.mnsu.edu/emergencygrant

Nelson said most students now are seeking assistance with rent payment. Other needs include medical needs, car repairs, and food insecurity.

Currently, 40 University’s professional staff serve as grant advisors for students in need.

“I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of emergency grant advisers across campus who are helping students navigate these challenging times,” Nelson said.

Eligible students must be enrolled in the current semester when seeking funding, be an undergraduate, FAFSA or a Minnesota Dream Act-eligible student with an expected family contribution of $8,000 or less, and meet with a grant advisor to complete the Emergency Grant Application.

The Emergency Grant program is not available to international students. Assistance where possible is provided through the International Center.

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