Today's Update: Thursday, April 9

April 9, 2020

Dear Student Life Team:

These are tough times for all of us. We are each dealing with heightened levels of change and uncertainty. Our students are no exception, and many are feeling a great deal of financial pressure as they try to pay bills and remain in school. 

The COVID-19 emergency has prompted a number of people to ask, “How can I help?” This is one way we can help. The Student Life Student Advocacy Center has funds designed to provide emergency financial assistance to students who may otherwise be at risk of dropping out of college due to an unexpected financial emergency.  

The need has skyrocketed. The Student Advocacy Center typically receives 80 applications per semester for emergency needs. Within the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic, they received more than 500 applications for support.  

Among the comments they’re hearing from student receiving assistance: 

  • “It took the burden of how I would pay my rent off my back during a tough time. It allowed me to only focus on school and not where I’ll lay my head.” 

  • “The funding allowed me to focus on my studies after I had been laid off from my primary job.” 

  • “Receiving the assistance greatly benefited me. I was in a very tough place as my father had just lost his job and funds were running low in our family.” 

  • “As a first-generation college student whose family is not able to assist me, I am thankful for the assistance.” 

The most common needs are for rent and housing, food (Student Life’s Buckeye Food Alliance panty also helps with this), supplies, unexpected travel expenses and technology needs to make the transition to online learning. Many students have indicated they have additional or unanticipated need due to loss of income because they work part-time jobs in industries that were temporarily shuttered. 

These emergency funds are the quickest way to get money in the hands of students so they can reconcile the emergency and focus on their studies. The Student Life Student Advocacy Center works closely with Student Financial Aid to make sure the student can receive the money without compromising their existing aid. They also simultaneously help students with other needs, including referrals for academic support, mental health support and wellness, etc.  

The funds are entirely supported by donations, and the university has made it a priority to raise funds to help cover these special needs. Ohio State’s Day of Giving on Tuesday, May 5 will be focused on the fund (#310216). The Provost also sent out an appeal this morning to some Ohio State alumni seeking support.  

If you, or someone you know, wants to help, donating to the Margaret Herlan Busch Student Assistance Fund would make a direct and significant difference in the lives of our most vulnerable students. Feel free to share these links:  

  • Search Fund Number: 310216 

Thank you for everything you do to support our students, including all that helps them continue to be Scarlet and Great, too! 

Melissa