D’Youville Supports Students in Coronavirus Relief Efforts
August 18, 2020
When Congress announced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide immediate relief to Americans impacted by COVID-19, D’Youville quickly organized meaningful and equitable relief efforts to support students.
In April and May, the university communicated a series of these efforts to all students, in alignment with the legislation. Those efforts included cash relief to offset tuition and housing, as well application-based support programs, and fee relief programs, such as:
- $300.00 in CARES cash grant funds for all full-time students who met federal eligibility requirements
- $150.00 in CARES cash grant funds for part-time students who met federal eligibility requirements
- $1,500.00 in CARES cash grant funds for residential students who had left their housing assignment for the semester
- $106,085 in CARES cash grant funding for students directly and significantly impacted by COVID-19, allocated on a case-by-case basis using a simple and convenient application. All students, regardless of how much funding they already received, were eligible to apply for additional support
- $1,000 graduation bonuses to apply toward housing for eligible students who elected to accelerate graduation to assist in the fight against COVID-19
- $37.50 Parking Relief Grants for students who purchased a parking pass, applied as a credit for continuing students or a payout for graduating students
- A rollover of printing balances to the next academic year, automatically applied to student accounts
Federally-funded relief efforts weren’t the only way D’Youville invested in students and learning outcomes during the global pandemic.
The university offered software and equipment to any student who needed it, including laptops and MiFi’s; initiated full-service, 24-hour Help Desk support; hired actors and built out full-scale simulations to support laboratory and clinical experiences; moved to digital tools to ensure hands-on and academic coursework met the quality and learning outcomes of a traditional classroom; and initiated a slate of digitized services. Traditional student activities, mission and prayer services, and all student supports remained available and fully functional.
“We even looked forward into the Fall 2020 semester to see what our incoming fist-year-in-college students were facing. Our Spring students had access to a lot of support but the Fall freshman lacked that, plus many of their families were facing severe economic hardships,” said Benjamin (BG) Grant, Chief Student Affairs. “To help them we setup the BookReady and TechReady Programs to take away one obstacle in coming to college. Not worrying about book costs or technology alleviated some of that anxiety.”
Students supported one another as well. The D’Youville Student Government Association – known for their thoughtful and strategic efforts to ensure students don’t fall through the cracks - established an additional, supplementary “emergency fund” which could be accessed by request.
“Ultimately, we took the approach that we are known for at D’Youville,” Grant said. “We never refuse to serve. These efforts, across the board, sought to provide relief while maintaining quality experiences for all students. Students let us know, time and again, D’Youville was a source of strength for them during a very difficult time. We will continue to assess their needs and mobilize when necessary.”