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Student Emergency Fund

Student life has sudden and costly surprises, especially as a pandemic upends student lives. Thanks to generous alumni and donors, the student emergency fund supports students in a time of crisis. 

What is an emergency for a student at Michigan Social Work?

A student said, “I had a scholarship to study in Peru. I booked non-refundable airline tickets. When COVID came, the University canceled all travel, and the funds for the ticket were still deducted from my account.” 

A student from Los Angeles said, “I used up my savings to get to Michigan and establish myself. I felt I had to go back and make sure my family was okay, but I didn’t have the means.”

From a student depending on her laptop to do her field placement: “The screen broke. I had no disposable income. I had been babysitting, but COVID stopped that.”

Where did these students turn?

Student Services Officer Cerise Carrington is the frontline contact. “The Emergency Fund ensures that our students can continue to serve others,” Carrington said, “while worrying less about their own road blocks.”

Tim Colenback, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management, explains, “These funds are critical, allowing students to meet basic needs,such as food, housing and medical expenses. Generous donors from within and outside the school help maintain the fund.”

Said the student with the broken screen, “I reached out to Cerise, she sent me the application, and in a few days I purchased a new laptop. “I had such a grand support system I had not been aware of,” the student added.  “I hope one day to support students in the same way that someone supported me.”

The student who was out the price of a plane ticket reported, “The Student Emergency Fund reimbursed me. I am extremely grateful.”

And from our Los Angeles resident: “It was really helpful to visit my mom and my aunt, who has a chronic illness. It was important to know that I could still be a resource to my family. In the future I hope to give back. Scholarship donors are investing in people who are going to make change. People are never a waste of money.”

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