WGU Funds $10M in Emergency Aid To Support Students Impacted by COVID-19
June 11, 2020
Western Governors University (WGU) has set aside $10 million in emergency aid funds to help current and new students experiencing financial and health care hardships as a result of COVID-19. In addition, the online, nonprofit university is working to raise another $10 million in matching donations. There are more than 4,200 students currently enrolled in programs and nearly 5,500 graduates of WGU in Tennessee.
A financial disruption of just a few hundred dollars can often derail a student’s academic progress, and 71 percent of WGU’s students come from one or more historically underserved populations: low-income earners, rural residents, students of color, and/or first-generation college students. WGU’s emergency aid fund will help mitigate those financial disruptions with the following:
• Non-tuition emergency aid: Support for current students with expenses that threaten their academic progress, such as rent, groceries, medical bills, internet service, and other essential needs.
• Enhanced Financial Support Fund: Hardship scholarships for current students who need tuition assistance due to financial disruptions.
• Funding for interrupted terms: Support for eligible current students, such as those who cannot complete in-person demonstration teaching and clinical rotations.
• Bright Future Scholarship: 1,000 need-based scholarships of up to $3,000 each for enrolling students or those newly enrolled since March 1.
• Additional financial support: Help with restructured payment plans or tuition and fee credits for some eligible students.
“Fundraising to support emergency aid for our high-need students is our top priority,” said Annalisa Holcombe, president of WGU Advancement, the university’s official fundraising arm. “As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the communities in which our students live, many will need immediate assistance in order to gain the skillsets required to support our national and local economies as we get through this difficult time.”
Organizations and individuals can visit wgu.edu/emergencyaid to make matching contributions to WGU’s Student Emergency Aid Fund. Students can learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply for aid by visiting wgu.edu/emergencystudentaid.
WGU students live, work, and participate in every major community in the U.S. Its online, competency-based, independently driven learning model has always given students the flexibility to access coursework and assessments 24/7, from home or wherever it’s convenient for them.