NEIU opens emergency fund for students amid coronavirus concerns

March 29, 2020

Due to the unprecedented campus closure as a result of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, NEIU activated its Student Emergency Fund (SEF) for those affected by lost wages and the added costs of remote learning. 

NEIU established its SEF in 2018 to financially aid students incapable of meeting NEIU expenses due to unexpected complications.  Some expenses that may be covered by the SEF include rent aid due to lost wages, computer or software costs because of the transition to online classes and unexpected travel expenses for those students who lived on campus but had to return home upon its closure.

According to NEIU’s website, “The Student Emergency Fund and the University Professionals of Illinois Faculty and Students Together (FAST) Fund are new avenues for Northeastern students to seek immediate assistance during financial emergencies such as housing insecurities, unexpected medical hardships and job loss that might derail their academic progress.”

With the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic positioning NEIU students and faculty in a compromised situation, the SEF operates as a resource for students in need.

The Independent asked NEIU Dean of Students Matt Specht how much aid students are eligible to receive. “There is no maximum amount of eligibility at this time,”said Specht.  “We are focused on emergency needs of food, medicine and other emergency expenses.  The average award ranges from $250 – $600. Depending on the strength of the fund, after we make initial disbursements, we may go back and reevaluate applications for further support.” 

Specht continued: “All of the money disbursed is housed in the NEIU foundation from individual, corporate or other foundation donations. No state money is used for this fund.”  

The fund is set up as both a resource for students who feel they can not meet their basic needs and an avenue for a resource for the NEIU community to help others facing financial uncertainty. According to Specht, even small donations to the fund–especially if done in large quantities of individual contributions–helps the students who most need it.

“Every bit helps,” said Specht.  “We are in very uncertain times and if you have excess monies and want to help out your fellow students, the Student Emergency Fund is a great way to get your donation directly into the hands of a current NEIU student in need.” 

For those students who wish to help by contributing any amount, or sharing with family and friends to contribute to the SEF, they can do so at Giving to NEIU.  Students hoping to apply for aid from the SEF you can do so through the NEIU SEF web page at Student Emergency Fund.

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