Grinnell College Student Financial Support During the COVID-19 Crisis
Grinnell College recognizes the immense disruption and stress that the COVID-19 crisis has placed upon all members of our academic community. We are incredibly moved by the way in which individuals have stepped forward time and again and without question to help each other. Grinnellians have been especially responsive to and supportive of those among us who face greater challenges and have fewer resources for meeting those challenges.
In addition to the support we have provided one another, we have taken numerous actions to help students deal with the unexpected costs of the COVID-19 crisis. We have used substantial resources of the College and the donations of alumni and friends to help students. Many of those we helped were forced to make unexpected and costly journeys home in the midst of a frenetic transportation situation. We also focused considerable financial support on students with the highest financial need, who are now experiencing new financial hardships because of the global pandemic.
Some of the ways in which the College and our donors have helped are by providing students with funds to purchase plane tickets, ship boxes, rent cars, and pay for hotel stays while moving home. Additionally, such funds have been used to provide computer hardware, Wi-Fi hotspots, and data plans to students without reliable internet access. As we worked to make refunds for unused room and board plans to students moving home, we prioritized expediting refund payments for those with the most immediate financial need.
Throughout these extraordinary times, the College remains steadfast in our commitment to meeting 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need. We have been committed to ensuring that students who have already assumed loans to assist with educational costs are not required to take on new loans for these unexpected events. We have prioritized providing additional financial support, as possible, to students who have exhausted other forms of financial aid. And for students who have recourse to other forms of financial support, we have counseled them on how to best make use of their options.
Recognizing that many of our students depend upon student work to assist with educational expenses, we are working with supervisors to ensure that as many student jobs continue as possible. In the event that a student is unable to complete need-based work-study as a result of disruption imposed by COVID-19, we are converting their work-study financial aid awards to outright grant assistance so they will not be without that resource to assist with tuition costs.
As challenges arise, we will hold steadfast to our guiding principles of health and safety, academic continuity, and protecting the most vulnerable. These principles have guided, and will continue to guide, our actions and resource allocation. We remain deeply grateful for the overwhelming support this community has demonstrated.
Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund
The College has created a special fund where financial contributions can be directed in support of students. Gifts made to the newly created “Supporting Our Students Fund” (SOS Fund) will support immediate student needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gifts received will be used to help cover expenses such as students traveling home, shipping costs for clothes and other belongings, books, supplies and equipment needed to support distance learning, storage and holistic health care and any other unanticipated expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic.