Since 2018, Jackson State University’s GAP Student Emergency Fund has been helping students achieve their academic goals and aiding them through distressing times. A monetary reserve, the fund is designed to assist students with bridging a financial gap after financial aid and scholarships are awarded. It is also used for student emergencies and other economic hardships.
This past spring, the COVID-19 pandemic shifted life for students at JSU when all classes transitioned to an online platform, and students were urged to leave campus as a precautionary measure. The GAP fund was then used to provide around $25,000 to nearly 100 students, who needed help with travel and other related expenses.
“As an institution of higher learning, we have a responsibility to provide and maintain resources that can help our students overcome adverse times, while on their academic journey, including a pandemic like COVID-19,” said Veronica Cohen, vice president of the Division of Institutional Advancement. “We are extremely grateful for our donors’ contributions to the GAP Student Emergency Fund because it gives us the flexibility to do just that.”
Developed through the Division of Institutional Advancement’s Major and Planned Gifts Unit, the GAP Fund is managed with the assistance of the Office of Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Admissions and the JSU Development Foundation. To date, the fund has provided approximately $400,000 to about 400 students.
“The additional financial assistance the GAP Fund offers is extremely vital. It can be the difference between a student remaining in school or having to withdraw,” said Cohen, who is also the executive director of the JSU Development Foundation. “Again, I cannot stress enough the immense gratitude we owe our donors for their generosity. Without their support, the academic goals for many students could go unfulfilled.”