In the last three weeks, K-State Student Foundation leaders report a fourfold increase in applications for Student Opportunity Awards.
Funded through the K-State Proud Campaign, Student Opportunity Awards provide financial assistance for students who have demonstrated extreme financial need or who need temporary financial assistance.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the circumstances of many K-State students and their families, more and more students are seeking assistance.
“Essentially every student we have helped since spring break has been affected by the coronavirus,” said Max Meyer, chair of the Student Opportunity Award committee. “Most students have lost their jobs and have no way of paying outstanding tuition bills, rent and other bills. Additionally, the parents of many students have also lost their jobs, so students cannot lean on them for support.”
“There has been no easing in the requirements that the SOA committee uses for application review, so that means our students are experiencing a greater need in both volume and circumstance,” said Jill Trego, Student Foundation adviser and vice president of culture and engagement at the KSU Foundation.
The Student Opportunity Award committee continues to meet weekly via Zoom, as they try to meet the needs of students.
“Our meetings now last close to an hour-and-a-half instead of 30-45 minutes like they have in the past,” said Meyers. “We’ve been working closely with the Office of Student Financial Assistance to connect students with alternative resources, such as the emergency grants, so we can preserve the SOA fund for students who have no other options.”
How you can help
Even though it is not the official campaign week for K-State Proud, you can still help by making a gift to support Student Opportunity Awards. In order to maximize resources available to students during this time, t-shirts will not be distributed — 100% of your gift will go toward helping students in dire financial circumstances stay in school and graduate.