Suspending in-person instruction has been an essential step for the University to protect students and to ensure that they can safely continue their studies. However, this decision, along with the closure/reduction of service for most non-essential businesses across the state, has created a financial crisis for many students. Some are experiencing significantly reduced work schedules while others have completely lost the jobs they depend on to pay for their education or support themselves and their families.
The Student Emergency Fund and the Student Food Pantry have been available to Rutgers students in crisis for several years but have never been more needed than they are today. These relief efforts are sustained by the generous financial support of alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the University.
The Dean of Students Emergency Fund
The Student Emergency Fund was created in 2016 to support students in financial crisis and has become a lifeline to many students during the current COVID-19 crisis. It is administered through the Dean of Students Office and supports students regardless of their major or school affiliation. This fund provides for basic student needs including:
- Emergency moving and housing expenses
- Resources for emergency medical and mental health
- Emergency financial assistance after the death of a parent
- Laptops for those who would otherwise not be able to complete their coursework
- Financial support after fire, theft, burglary
- $1000 average emergency assistance award
- $200,000+ in awards made
- 300+ student awards
A Student in Need
“My mother now has two extra kids back in the house when she was not expecting it who eat more food and use more electricity. On top of already having a low paying job, my mother’s hours have been cut nearly in half due to the Covid-19 disease. I would be open to getting a job but no one in my area is accepting applications so my mom is very quickly exhausting her small amount of money. We are in dire need of extra help.” – 1st year student
Student Food Pantry
The Student Food Pantry provides perishable and non-perishable items to Rutgers students year-round. Even with most students off campus, the Student Food Pantry has seen an increase in visits since March. The pantry had to relocate to a larger, temporary location and take on nearly 60 staff volunteers to manage the volume during the height of the Spring semester.
The Numbers (since March)
- 700+ visits to Student Food Pantry location
- 240+ visits to Mobile Food Pantry
- 9,000 pounds of food distributed
A Student in Need
“Due to Covid19, the clinic where I typically work between 18-20 hours/week has suspended all in-person monitoring visits which has resulted in my hours being reduced to 1-3 hours a week. This student job is how I pay my main bills and being an international student, I am ineligible for financial aid and government relief programs. I am only eligible to work for Rutgers University on an F-1 Visa and cannot take a job off-campus. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to cope with the loss of income.“ – Graduate Student