RIO GRANDE VALLEY  – In these unprecedented times, people across the country have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – and that includes college students.

To help relieve some of the financial burden students face, UTRGV recently announced the UTRGV Student Emergency Fund.

“Our students need our support now more than ever,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “We must not allow the educational goals of our students to be compromised by housing and food insecurities, loss of income, emergency travel expenses or any other unforeseen financial challenges.”

‘‘This is truly a generation-defining moment. We are not defined by the challenge itself, but by how we respond. In a time like this, we need every member of the UTRGV family to rally and demonstrate our strength and generosity. We will get through this – together." —UTRGV President Guy Bailey. 

The fund, which provides limited financial assistance for currently enrolled UTRGV students, is a last-resort assistance plan for students experiencing an emergency or sudden, unforeseen event – such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund helps students stay enrolled and focused on their academic careers. Award amounts vary and can only be awarded once a year. Each disbursement decision is granted on a case-by-case basis.

The funds will assist students with needs that include:

Food – Increased expenses due to having children at home. Childcare – With schools and daycares closed, helps pay for childcare so students can focus on online classes. Housing – Meet rent/mortgage due to loss of wages, job loss or reduction of hours. Utilities – Internet, electricity, water due to loss of wages, job loss or reduction of hours. Laptop – To assist with online learning. “In less than two weeks, we have received more than 175 gifts that have totaled more than $31,000,” said Kelly Scrivner, EVP for Institutional Advancement. “These times are difficult for everyone, but thanks to these generous donors, our students can have access to these emergency funds to help them stay on track in their academics.”

According to the Division of Strategic Enrollment and Student Affairs, more than 600 applications have been received since the fund was announced to students two weeks ago, and more than $200,000 has been awarded.

UTRGV continues to receive hundreds of requests each week from students in need.

To make a gift to the fund, visit this link.

For more information on the fund, or how to give to UTRGV students in need, email give@utrgv.edu, or call (956) 665-5301.

“This is truly a generation-defining moment. We are not defined by the challenge itself, but by how we respond,” Bailey said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In a time like this, we need every member of the UTRGV family to rally and demonstrate our strength and generosity. We will get through this – together.”

To apply for the fund, students will need to send in a reason for the request, a detailed description of how these funds will help, how unexpected expenses are affecting the student’s ability to remain enrolled at UTRGV, and applicable documentation related to the request.

Detailed information can be found here.