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UML Launches Special Campaign to Keep Students Safe and in School

COVID-19 Has Pushed Many Students Closer to the Financial Edge

A volunteer stocks the shelves at Navigators Food Pantry in University Crossing
UML has launched a special campaign to benefit the Student Emergency Needs Fund and the university’s Food Pantry, which are providing assistance to students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

By Beth Brosnan

The move to remote learning has meant big changes for all UMass Lowell students. But many are also coping with drastic financial changes, says Julie Nash, vice provost for academic affairs.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, she says, some students watched their financial safety nets vanish almost overnight. 

“In many ways, our campus is run by our work-study students,” says Nash. “Supported by federal financial aid, they work in our libraries, athletic facilities, dining halls and many other roles. Suddenly, they found themselves with no work to do—and thus no income to help pay for tuition.”

Others have family members who are now unemployed or in poor health and are struggling to make ends meet. And not all students have ready access to computers and the Wi-Fi service they need to complete their online coursework. Faced with such challenges, Nash says, many students will drop out, and some may never complete their college degrees.

In response, UML has launched a special campaign on behalf of the Student Emergency Needs Fund. The Office of University Advancement is also raising funds for the university’s Food Pantry, which provides assistance to local students experiencing food insecurity.

“Right now, these funds represent our highest fundraising priorities,” says John Feudo, vice chancellor for University Advancement. “Nothing is more important than the health, safety and success of our students.”

For more information on the Student Emergency Needs Fund, please visit the GiveCampus website