TU Student Emergency Fund directly helping students, families in need

April 5, 2020

Towson University has resources available for students in need of financial help amid the COVID-19 pandemic

campus

Towson University is providing much-needed financial assistance for students facing hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Student Emergency Grant Fund, TU has made nearly $200,000 available for student emergencies and hardships—$50,000 specifically for food insecurity—through the Student Emergency and Food Insecurity Fund. This fund is made possible entirely by TU’s community: faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

“This fund is possible because of our TU community. It will directly support our TU community,” President Kim Schatzel says. “This pandemic has presented so many challenges, and like so many around the world, our students and their families are facing uncertainties. The deployment of this fund will bring some much-needed relief in this stressful time.”

Read more about this issue in an April 6 Baltimore Sun story.

Funds are starting to be distributed this week. Students may apply online for relief through the fund. Donations are now being accepted.

Putting a plan into action

The Division of University Advancement’s efforts are now focused upon raising money that will help TU students. Thanks to generous support of alumni and friends, TU is able to immediately distribute nearly $50,000 from its Student Emergency Fund and other unrestricted funds for direct support of students facing emergencies and hardships. There is an additional $50,000 available, through donor gifts, to support students facing food insecurity.

In addition, the TU Foundation’s Board of Directors immediately took decisive action, approving the release of more than $100,000 in Foundation unrestricted funds to support students’ remote learning needs. These dollars have been matched by nearly $60,000 in institutional funds that will be allocated to support students’ remote learning.

The university will make a large push for the fund through The Big Give. This year, the annual fundraising week pivots to a one-day effort on April 22 for the community to help meet the urgent needs confronting TU students who use the Student Emergency and Food insecurity Fund.

In a letter to campus, Brian J. DeFilippis, vice president of university advancement, said TU’s sense of community is as strong as ever.

The campus community has “asked about ways [it] can help our students continue to thrive in their educational pursuits,” DeFilippis says. “I am heartened by this extraordinary display of compassion. It is the hallmark of our TU community.”

Thanks to generous support of alumni and friends, TU is immediately able to distribute nearly $50,000 from its Student Emergency Fund and other unrestricted funds for direct support of students facing emergencies and hardships. There is an additional $50,000 available, through donor gifts, to support students facing food insecurity.

“It’s been amazing to witness the way the TU family has stepped up in so many ways to support our students during this challenging time,” said Vernon Hurte, Vice President of Student Affairs. “These critical resources will make a difference for so many of our students in helping them continue to progress towards graduation, even in the midst of navigating this current crisis.

How to apply

Applicants must submit a detailed application and meet the eligibility requirements.

Each application is considered based on the applicant’s unique circumstances. A case manager will follow up with the applicant to discuss the need and offer referrals to additional services and resources, if applicable. 

During this COVID-19 response, any enrolled student can apply. Students must have exhausted all other possible financial resources and must demonstrate an immediate need due to a financial emergency or other unforeseen circumstance. Applicants may not have received funds previously in the same academic year.

Eligibility for applicants is also dependent upon having a financial need that will have a detrimental impact on academic progress or the ability to remain enrolled. Applicant’s financial need may not be a direct result of the his or her own actions.

During this COVID-19 period, food, toiletries and necessary medications will be among those needs provided for by the fund. It will also aid in education-related expenses as Towson University moves to online classes, assist students who may need to travel home and help cover unmet financial costs due to loss of employment.

“The need is real, and your contribution will have an immediate impact,” DeFilippis wrote to the TU community. “Together, our Tiger Nation is strong. Together, our Tiger Nation will persevere.”

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland, Diverse and Inclusive Campus, Culture of Philanthropy.