UWM Introduces New Emergency Grant for Students in Need
Car repairs, hospital trips, rent... for broke students, those expenses can be a real issue, potentially forcing them to drop out of college. To help those students who are struggling financially, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is offering a new resource distributed through the university’s Dean of Students office: the UWM Emergency Grant.
Starting Friday, Sept. 1, UWM students can apply to a one-time grant up to $1,000 for the 2017-18 academic year. A similar amount will be available the next year. The grant will be used to pay non-academic expenses, directly to the vendors rather than the student, as to ensure it is used for the right purposes.
To be eligible, students need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), be an undergraduate and receive $7,000 or less per year from their family.
$630,000 has been made available to UWM by Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. & Affiliates to help students stay in college. UWM provided another $45,000 to reach a total of $675,000, which will be distributed over the next two years. By estimating the average grant will be $500, the Dean of Students office estimates the grant will help around 600 students in the current academic year.
The UWM Emergency Grant is the newest attempt to fight off poverty among college students, which forces them to increase their debts or work longer hours, eventually increasing their chances to drop out. In 2016, almost 50% of surveyed UWM students claimed they lacked food at some point of their university years. Other solidarity programs from UWM include Career Closet, helping students to dress properly for interviews, and a food pantry.
“We know that students can’t focus on academics when they are hungry,” interim dean of students Rebecca Freer said in a press release. “We know that they can’t get to work and school when their car breaks down. It’s our job to help mitigate these issues so their brilliance can flourish in college.”