CRANFORD – In March 2020, as the impact of COVID-19 became imminent, Union County College, in partnership with the Union County College Foundation, established a COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of the students at Union County College reported facing financial challenges, ranging from food insecurities to housing issues. However, today, this number continues to grow as the economic and personal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is felt across our community. Due to the socio-economic realities of the student body at Union County College, this crisis is already having a devastating economic impact on many students and their families as they face unprecedented hardship due to this national crisis. 

The federal CARES Act provides funding to students who are dealing with financial issues that threaten to impede or interrupt their ability to continue their college education, but not all students and situations qualify.

To ensure that funds are available to assist as many students as possible, the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund supports immediate student financial needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. This new fund will help our students in their time of need and ensure that they are able to continue their education without roadblocks due to this current pandemic. To date, this fund has raised more than $100,000 thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors.

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“We stand at the beginning of a historic moment in time. Generations in the future will judge us not by our words, but by our actions, which is why our Board approved the development of this new Student Emergency Relief Fund. I truly believe we would not be true to our motto of Students are number one, if we did not meet this unprecedented challenge head on. Our hope is that with the help and support of our community, we can make sure that our students are able to focus on their studies and have access to the basic needs for survival,” said Doug Rouse, Union County College Foundation Executive Director.

Awards to students can vary depending on specific needs. All contributions to the Fund will be awarded directly to students. To donate to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund and help a student today, go to www.ucc.edu/studentemergency. If you have any questions about the fund or the Union County College Foundation’s mission in our community, please call the Foundation at 908-709-7505.