MSU announces COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund to help students in need

Mathew Park, associate vice president and dean of students, announced the creation of the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund via Postmaster Thursday, April 9.

The fund’s purpose is to provide financial support to currently enrolled students who are unable to support their ability to remain enrolled at MSU due to financial hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.  The amount provided would be between $25 and $200 per student.

Each application is reviewed by a committee and if approved, funds range from $25-$250 per student,” Park said. “Applicants should provide documentation of their financial hardship and existence of the essential expense.”

As there is a limited amount of money that can be distributed, there are strict qualifications for who can successfully apply for the emergency fund. The most significant restriction is that applicants must be MSU students that have already tried other ways to ease their financial difficulties.

” [Applicants] must be a currently enrolled degree-seeking student at MSU Texas, must have a non-recurring financial hardship for an essential expense resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that has to be taken care of right away, and other possible financial resources must have been considered and deemed insufficient or not available in a timely manner to cover the essential expense,” Park said. “Students who have a past due balance with MSU Texas and/or are on a payment plan are eligible to apply.”

The emergency fund itself is funded in private by MSU supporters and community members. For college students worried how this emergency fund may affect their tuition, Park said that the fund is not coming out of any student tuition or fees. Some faculty have also contributed to the emergency fund.

“Already several MSU faculty, staff and administrators have given personally to this fund,” Anthony Vidmar, MSU vice president, said.

Donors can choose to remain anonymous as was the case with one of the funds’ first donors who donated $2,500. The donor said he was looking for a way to help students when he was informed of the Emergency Fund.

“While walking, the thought came to me that at MSU there must be students, already struggling financially, who could be at risk of falling through the safety net for many different reasons as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.  I was already contributing to Mustang Pantry, but thought there might be other urgent needs to be addressed. Steve Ship, Director of University Development, called and told me that they set up a fund called the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund for contributors such as myself,” the anonymous donor said.

The COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund was created exclusively to combat the coronavirus, and it wasn’t created until the pandemic began. However, once MSU leadership saw the effects of the outbreak, the fund was created quickly.

“[It took] two weeks from the initial idea to the announcement of the fund,” Park said. “And yes, [it was created] solely due to COVID-19.”

If you’re experiencing financial hardship and wish to apply for the fund, or if you wish to help out your fellow Mustangs and donate to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund, click on the following link: https://msutexas.edu/student-life/dean/emergency/student-emergency-fund.php. 

“Students, and anyone, can give online. [Go to the] link, then click the ‘donate’ heart,” Vidmar said.

The anonymous donor provided some words encouraging others to donate as well.

“I would say that helping these hard-working students over a rough spot is a great way to invest in those students who are also on their way to becoming productive contributing members of society,” the donor said.
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