Updated: January 07, 2021 05:34 PM
Created: January 07, 2021 05:33 PM
The University of Wisconsin-Superior helped nearly 400 students with emergency grants this winter.
In total, almost $150,000 was doled out in $200-500 grants. The school launched an emergency grant program after it received CARES Act funding in the spring.
"We knew students, as we got to this winter, would still be struggling, still be facing financial challenges, mental health challenges, physical health challenges," Director of Admissions Jeremy Nere said.
The winter round of grants came from donations and other federal and state aid. Nere said online and international students weren't eligible for CARES Act funds, so this allowed them to broaden the scope.
In under two weeks, around 400 students applied for help.
"We were really surprised by the volume and also surprised by the need. We essentially had a pretty open application process that students could just tell us what their needs were, what their challenges were, and how much funding that would make a difference for them," Nere said.
Needs ranged from groceries to winter gear to textbooks.
"Especially when you look at college students and the type of industries that they work in ... in those part-time jobs, some of those were ones -- service industry -- some of those were hit especially hard right now too," Nere said.
He said university leadership has also learned from the experience.
"It really was eye-opening to us from an administrative standpoint too and Financial Aid office and Dean of Students office," Nere said. "We've had discussions now to say, this is something that we need to look at. How can we sustain this?"
Nere said despite the pandemic, UWS admissions look pretty good for the spring semester, and Fall 2021 is looking optimistic too.
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