The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on society causes unfortunate financial conditions for many college students.
More than 75% of Sam Houston State University students depend on income from jobs to help pay for college, according to 101.7 KSAM. Many of these jobs are in the restaurant and retail industry. A handful of businesses have temporarily closed their doors or reduced business hours to help slow the spread of the virus. However, the demand for economic resources, food, and housing has continued to grow.
On March 25, SHSU President Dana Hoyt sent out an email informing students of the Bearkat Emergency Fund. This fund’s purpose is to serve as a source of temporary financial assistance to students who are facing difficulties due to COVID-19. According to the email, alumni and donors helped to create the fund, which is available for short-term financial support. By filling out a short form, students can apply for a fund that extends a flexible hand during a time of uncertainty for many.
On top of the Bearkat Emergency Fund, there is aid available on a federal level. President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus package to give immediate support to the wavering U.S. economic system stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stimulus package enables the government to directly send personal checks to millions of Americans, depending on household factors. This part of the stimulus package still leaves to question what its relationship with the Bearkat Emergency Fund will be, and how students can best take advantage of every opportunity.
SHSU’s Marketing and Communication office was unable to respond as to how either fund will impact SHSU students at this time. The Houstonian will continue to follow this story and provide more information as it becomes available.