WIU offers emergency funds for students

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University is offering an emergency fund for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WIU officials said this student emergency fund will help undergraduate and graduate students finish the semester at WIU.

The money will help students with resources such as housing, food, technology and other essential basic needs. Officials said the WIU Office of Financial Aid is also making a financial aid special circumstances appeal available.

The WIU Foundation, in collaboration with the WIU Scholarship Office, WIU Office of Financial Aid and the Office of the President, has established a Student Emergency FundĀ  to assist students with the necessary resources for housing, food, technology and other essential basic needs. Students simply need to complete the form, describing the resources needed to complete the semester.

“The WIU Foundation is providing a minimum of $25,000 in matching funds to the emergency funds for students,” WIU Foundation Executive Director Brad Bainter said. “Our Western Challenge, which has evolved into a Day of Caring and will take place April 24, will focus on this special fund. It’s critical that we provide our students in need with the support and resources they need during this particularly challenging time.”

The emergency aid will be given via a grant, so students and families will not be required to pay it back. The money will be administered as a one-time award and students must be currently enrolled.

Students must apply for the grant and applications will be accepted as long as funds are available.

“COVID-19 has created additional challenges for many of our students,” Abraham said. “We are trying to do all we can to ease the added stresses our students may be facing, and we greatly appreciate the WIU Foundation for spearheading this campaign to provide funding for our students in need. To our students, we commend your Leatherneck spirit, perseverance and dedication during these trying times.”

WIU is also offering financial aid resources to incoming students whose family has experienced a change in financial circumstances due to the pandemic.

Last week, the university announced students not currently staying on campus will receive a 30 percent credit of housing and dining charges credited to their university account. WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said the amount will vary based on room types and meal plans.

The emergency fund application can be found by clicking here.