COVID-19 Scholarships awarded to graduate students impacted by the pandemic
The Purdue University Graduate School awarded 80 COVID-19 Scholarships to graduate students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardships as a result of the global pandemic.
“Lost campus positions and lack of funding were two compelling challenges that students wrote about,” said Thomas Atkinson, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Graduate School, in reference to the needs identified on scholarship applications. “Other graduate students wrote about profound financial needs that they encountered due to having family members who depend on them for financial support. Some were caught in extraordinary situations with travel and housing due to the coronavirus.”
Grace Haines-Gallagher was a COVID-19 Scholarship recipient. The 2nd-year doctor of audiology student in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Department, is studying to become a clinical audiologist who treats disorders of hearing and balance.
“I applied for the COVID-19 relief scholarship because I was told funding opportunities were more limited due to the current circumstances,” said Haines-Gallagher. When her teaching assistantship contract ended in May, she wasn’t offered another round of funding.
While she felt “very fortunate” that she was not impacted more by COVID-19 than she was, she was suddenly faced with a loss of expected income. “The scholarship has been incredibly helpful for me, as it has covered the cost of most of my living expenses for two months,” she said. “This has allowed me to not have to borrow any money from outside of Purdue University, and I am beyond grateful for this scholarship!”
According to Atkinson, a total of $80,000 was awarded to 80 students from all ten colleges at the West Lafayette Campus.
“It was heartwarming to read notes of appreciation from many of the recipients,” said Atkinson. “Some wrote of ‘tears of joy’ of relief and of the big difference that the scholarship made for them.”
Eight colleges provided a match, enabling the Graduate School’s funds for the project to stretch further. Matching scholarship funding was also offered to the regional campuses in the amount of $5,000 each, and two campuses were able to participate.
While the COVID-19 Scholarship Program helped many Purdue graduate students impacted by the pandemic, many students continue to experience COVID-related financial hardships and we hope to identify additional sources of funds for these students.
For students experiencing financial hardships, critical need and emergency loans are available from the Office of the Dean of Students at: https://www.purdue.edu/odos/resources/financial.html
Writer: Korina Wilbert
Source: Thomas Atkinson, email@example.com
October 19, 2020