University announces COVID-19 relief fund

September 10, 2020

Illustration by Deborah Han

Georgetown announced the creation of a COVID-19 Relief Fund on Sept. 4 for students with emergency expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which have not been accounted for in traditional financial aid grants.

 All current undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time and in degree-seeking programs on the main campus, the School of Continuing Studies or the School of Nursing and Health Studies can apply to the relief fund by Tuesday, Sept. 15. The maximum grant award is $600. The fund is similar in purpose and process to the COVID-19 Response Fund announced in June, which covered additional costs related to emergency travel, storage and living. 

Students have demanded more aid from the university as the fall semester begins. After the initial round of financial aid grant decisions, the university opened up channels for aid reconsiderations, this time taking into account income reduction from 2020 due to the pandemic. The university allocated an additional $65 million to address greater financial aid need and provide tuition discounts, according to the announcement.

This new relief fund is expected to address technology costs, as students are attending classes virtually, as well as medical expenses related to COVID-19 incurred during the summer and fall semester.

Students must apply for need-based financial aid to be considered for additional emergency funding. If they did not originally, students should apply now. Those on other campuses have separate application processes for similar funding. Georgetown Scholars Program (GSP) students have been directed to apply through the GSP Necessity Fund.

According to a university spokesperson, a committee of administrators will review each application and administer funding, awarding grants until the fund runs out. The fund consists of donations from alumni and friends of the university, as well as allocated institutional funding, and fundraising is set to continue throughout the pandemic as more students encounter unexpected costs of living and virtual attendance. “We are all compelled to respond and support our community through this crisis,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to the Voice

Paul James
Paul is a former section editor and ESVA at the Voice and a student in the SFS, class of 2023, studying Culture and Politics. His favorite color is grey, spelled correctly.

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