Student Body President Ally Schneider and Vice Student Body President Kayla Dougherty hopped on Instagram Live on May 5 to discuss questions they have received about the Student Emergency Relief Fund.
What is the Student Emergency Relief Fund?
The Student Emergency Relief Fund was created before the COVID-19 crisis. Under normal circumstances, it would be used for helping students facing sudden homelessness and other financial crises. The fund is now being used for those impacted by the pandemic.
How to apply
“First thing: Where’s the application?” Schneider began. “Just Google ‘UNF Student Emergency Relief Fund’, it’s the first thing that pops up. It’s on the Dean of Student website and that will take you to the application. You have to login to MyWings to do it, and that’s just to verify you’re a student and not a random person applying for student aid.”
“In the application, you have to demonstrate need,” Schneider explained. This could be a letter from an employer verifying that you have lost your job.
“We want to make sure the aid is going to the people who need it the most,” Schneider said.
Schneider also noted that it is not just for student employees who have lost campus jobs. The aid is for any student who has lost their job, on or off campus.
Is there a cap on aid?
“It’s kind of an ambiguous answer,” Schneider said. “I’m going to say the general cap is going to be about $1000, but they’re taking each individual case into account and they’re trying to make sure the people who desperately need $1,500 get that. They are taking it case by case.”
The University originally capped students at $500 to ensure there was enough to give out from the fund. This is no longer the case.
“Once we got more funding, they were trying to go back and retroactively fund some people and make sure that their need was met. So they really are taking it case by case and give as much money as the student really needs.”
Can students who just graduated last week apply for aid from the Student Emergency Relief Fund?
“We also got a question about if a student who has just graduated last week could apply for the funding,” Schneider said. “My guess would be no, because you’re not a UNF student anymore, unfortunately.”
Schneider speculated that the University would prioritize current UNF students.
Are there qualifications?
On the topic of qualifications, Schneider and Dougherty stated that the main requirements were 1) the applicant must be a UNF student, and 2) must demonstrate need and provide documentation.
“I know someone who applied who hadn’t lost her job but she had been put on no hours for a few weeks and she got denied just because she’s going to be able to go back to her job, and there’s a lot of people who have no employment prospects and don’t currently have income, so those are the requirements.”
“The other part of it is that you can’t have met your financial aid need, your estimated need,” Schneider explained. “That’s not a UNF policy, that’s a legal thing that you can’t exceed that, so there is an element of this that’s beholden to the state and federal government.”
Is there a deadline to apply?
Short answer: No. Not at this time.
Without an appearance from Dougherty’s famous dog, Schnieder and Dougherty signed off with the reminder that students can DM questions to the SG Instagram or Schneider and Dougherty’s personal Instagrams.
“That goes for anything to do with any of this stuff. Not just this fund. If you have questions about fees, if you have questions about what’s going to happen in the fall, anything like that. We don’t always have the answers but we’ll do our best to find them.”
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