~Students Can Apply Now for Pay it Flash Forward Emergency Funds~
By Estelle R. Brown
Even before the coronavirus crisis up-ended daily life, college students were already juggling critical demands on their time, careers and finances. Any interruption in their study-work-life balance could threaten their stability. COVID-19 has proven to be that sudden and severe disturbance and now scores of students are experiencing serious setbacks. Fortunately, Kent State University has established the Pay it Flash Forward Emergency Fund.
“During this unprecedented time, coupled with our move to remote instruction as of March 16, the lives of our students have been significantly disrupted,” explains Molly Smith, Associate Director of Advancement for Kent State University’s Regional Campuses.
“Along with the uncertainty we are all facing, students and families are dealing with unexpected costs including, but not limited to, travel, food, housing, technology needs, and in some cases, lost wages.”
Any student currently enrolled for Spring 2020 term at any Kent Campus can apply now for up to $1,000 in emergency funds (this is not a loan; it will not need to be repaid). The Pay It Flash Forward Emergency Grant has been created to assist KSU students with a sudden, urgent or unforeseen expense that requires immediate attention, including:
- Tuition and Fees
- Housing and meals (on or off-campus)
- Utilities (off-campus)
- Books, supplies and other course-related materials or technology
- Emergency travel cost or car maintenance
- Unexpected medical expenses
For students seeking financial relief, the application link can be found at the bottom of the KSU giving page: www.kent.edu/flashesgiveback. The application link can also be found — along with additional coronavirus-related resources — at: www.kent.edu/studentaffairs/dean/covid-19-emergency-resources.
The evaluation process will be ongoing as new applications are submitted, until funds run out. As of April 10, there was more than $65,000 in the fund, Smith reports. Apparently, it’s going fast.
Smith says, “In just 12 hours, more than 200 students applied for emergency financial assistance through the Pay it Flash Forward Emergency Fund, and more applications are expected. We are anticipating needing at least $250,000 to help these students.”
Considering that anticipated student need will outpace the current cache available, anyone in a position to bolster the Flash Forward fund during this overwhelming time is encouraged to make an online donation here: www.kent.edu/flashesgiveback.
Supporters can also help the university to provide gift cards that students can use at local grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores, such as Giant Eagle, Walmart, CVS, GetGo, and Sheetz, among others. The gift cards will be given as a one-time financial supplement to students who have an immediate need. Those interested in supporting through gift cards can reach out directly to Molly Smith at 440.834.3761 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the coronavirus has restricted the ways students access class and work while the bills accumulate, this is a time to pay it forward — or as the KSU community would say — pay it Flash Forward. Any donation to the emergency fund is valued as an investment in our shared brighter future.