NKU starts fund to help students impacted by COVID
Early on during the pandemic, officials at Northern Kentucky University recognized that many of their students would be adversely impacted by job losses and health care needs. In response, they created the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund, and raised nearly $150,000 from regional donors and community members for those in need.
“The Student Emergency Fund’s creation is truly a regional and campus collaboration designed to support the realities of student’s lives,” said Atley Smedley, spokesperson at NKU. “Any student can apply to use the fund to cover education-related expenses, food and toiletries, transportation needs, and other costs so they can continue to support themselves and their families while pursuing their degrees at NKU.”
Since last year, the program has distributed $129,710 to 539 students, and referred more than 400 to CARES Act funding.
“This fund has made it possible for my fiancé and me to keep our heads above water during these trying times. We’re able to keep our electricity on and our son’s belly full,” said Danielle, an NKU student who received assistance. “[The Student Emergency Fund] lifted my family and me out of possible darkness and into safety.”
Smedley says the fund will continue to be used until NKU resumes full operation, and even at that point, the hope is to keep funding available to help remove financial barriers for students in need.
“We hope that the fund continues to serve as an emergency fund for which we can continue to receive support from generous donors,” he said.