Students who were affected by the winter storm may be eligible for the Emergency Assistance Fund, according to Charity Stutzman, assistant dean of students.
Students who apply for the fund must have a temporary financial hardship resulting from a sudden emergency, accident or unforeseen event, and this emergency may cause them to stop their education.
The record-breaking weather event left nearly 3 million households without power and nearly 12 million with disrupted water services across the state and has resulted in damaged homes and costly emergency expenses.
With the Emergency Assistance Fund, students can request a one-time award of up to $500 for some of those expenses.
Students can use the money to cover rent, utility bills, groceries, replacement of essential personal items due to a fire, natural disaster or theft, funds for immediate emergency shelter, safety needs, prescriptions or other costs related to medical care.
The Emergency Assistance Fund does not consider students’ academic standings, as opposed to grants like the CARES Act.
There is also no requirement as to whether students are enrolled part time or full time to receive the fund, and undocumented and international students are eligible.
Stutzman said the fund is not affiliated with the university. The money comes from donations.
“It is not a loan,” Stutzman said. “Students are not required to pay back any amount.”
The application and awarding process take around two to three weeks, she said.
Students need to prepare their monthly budget and documentation of the emergency for which they need help: photos, doctor’s notes, insurance claims, etc. and the bills or invoices for payments.
The Emergency Assistance Fund may not cover tuition, health insurance, nonessential utilities such as cable, internet or phone, application or test fees, costs for entertainment or recreation, nonemergency travel, etc.
Students who need the Emergency Assistance Fund can apply here.