University launches Student Emergency Fund

Ahyen Labanan, Assistant News Editor

DeKALB — NIU has created a Student Emergency Fund, which launched Monday, in partnership with the NIU Foundation. This information was emailed to students Monday.

The Student Emergency Fund was developed to provide resources to degree-seeking students in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will identify resources and provide funding to help students access technology, employment, housing, meals, transportation and other basic needs.

Students can fill out a form beginning Monday explaining the resources or funding they need to continue their studies for the rest of the semester. Faculty and staff can also fill out this form on behalf of students, according to an NIU Today article.

A member of the Center for Student Assistance will contact students who fill out a form within 24 hours. The Center for Student Assistance will assist students through identifying helpful resources and will provide up to $500 in funding. At this time, the goal is to provide funding decisions within three to four days of the request.

This additional fund is meant to meet short-term financial need, but is not designed to replace or supplement financial aid, according to a Monday email released by Dean of Students Kelly Wesener Michael. Funds are considered a grant and do not need to be repaid.

Funds, however, can count as income and might be subject to federal and/or state taxes. For students who currently receive financial aid, this grant could affect their already awarded financial aid.

Students can contact the Center for Student Assistance if they need support today at 815-753-8300 or at studentassistance@niu.edu.

Donations to the Student Emergency Fund are being accepted through the NIU Foundation. All donations will be used for students in need.

The Northern Star will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.