MISSOULA – Many University of Montana students, in Missoula and around the country, are facing unexpected financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who cannot afford essential needs such as making rent payments, purchasing necessary prescriptions or ordering course materials can now apply for short-term assistance from the new UM Emergency Student Support Fund.
Resources offered through the fund are made available by generous donations from UM family, friends and alumni. To learn more and give, visit www.supportum.org/emergencyfund. Gifts of any size make a difference in helping students as they confront the great hurdles of this pandemic while working to excel in their coursework and learning experiences.
“While COVID-19 is having a sweeping effect on our nation and world, the financial vulnerability of our students during this these uncertain times is of particular concern,” said Brian Reed, UM associate vice provost for student success. “Our hope is that this fund can provide a needed boost that will allow our students to focus on their studies rather than their finances.”
Resources made available through the fund are intended to provide financial assistance to current UM students only. Student applications can be submitted on the Student Affairs website at www.umt.edu/student-affairs. The Emergency Student Support Fund Committee, led by the director of the Financial Aid Office and vice provost for student success, will consider each request. Funds will help cover costs such as:
- Technology and connectivity needs related to distance learning
- Books and other instructional expenses
- Tuition and instructional fees
- Housing, rent and utilities
- Food and groceries
- Medical and dental bills
- Other emergency or unforeseen circumstances
The UM community has pulled together to persevere during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty, staff and campus partners have made extraordinary efforts to deliver on UM’s promise of a world-class education while safeguarding student health, including moving thousands of course sections to fully remote instruction. While this time has been challenging and disruptive for UM students, they are making the most of their remote instruction and adapted services provided by UM faculty and staff.
The Emergency Student Support Fund is another way UM and the broader Grizzly community is helping students through the pandemic.
“Many students have found themselves out of a job, home or both as a result of challenges caused by COVID-19,” said Associated Students of UM President Abbigail Belcher. “It is critical that UM students can continue their education free from additional financial hardship caused by this disaster. Any support for UM students is appreciated.”
The UM Foundation continues to receive and distribute charitable gifts to benefit the University and its students during the COVID-19 pandemic. (For details visit www.supportum.org/coronavirus.) To give to the Emergency Student Support Fund, visit www.supportum.org/emergencyfund.
Gifts to the UM Emergency Student Support Fund are part of Campaign Montana, a comprehensive, seven-year fundraising campaign that is inspiring more than $400 million in philanthropic giving to UM through 2020. Donors will help achieve UM’s vision of a university that puts student success at the forefront, driving excellence and innovation in teaching, research and learning. The campaign is managed by the UM Foundation. Visit www.campaignmontana.org to learn more.
Contact: Elizabeth Willy, director of communications, UM Foundation, 406-243-5320, email@example.com; Brian Reed, UM associate vice provost for student success, 406-243-5225, firstname.lastname@example.org.