RALEIGH — Nonprofit online Western Governors University (WGU) is proud to announce that it recently distributed $2.1M in non-tuition aid to more than 4,000 of its students nationwide over the course of a few days. WGU North Carolina, a state affiliate of WGU, shared that more than $75,000 of that aid was distributed to 156 WGU students across North Carolina.
Many institutions have received a high volume of requests from students who are financially impacted by COVID-19. Through a partnership with Edquity—a company that offers an emergency aid platform to college students—WGU has been able to quickly support high-need students and plans to share lessons learned with the broader higher-education community.
“We know that many of our students have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and we are grateful to be able to offer this emergency aid to help ease the financial burdens that are falling on students and families,” said WGU North Carolina Chancellor Catherine Truitt.
“We’ve been proud to support WGU in their rapid emergency aid response in the wake of COVID-19,” said David Helene, CEO of Edquity. “We know WGU students, many of whom are themselves parents and work full-time, are dealing with material responsibilities on top of their studies and have needed access to urgent funding.”
WGU reports that 70% of its students come from one or more underserved populations, and of the more than 4,000 students who received emergency aid nationwide, 41% are first-generation college students, 48% reported income under $35,000, and 43% are students of color.
The university explains that students receiving emergency aid are facing challenges such as food and housing insecurity, and childcare demands. WGU remains committed to providing affordable and accessible education, which includes helping to secure basic needs that will allow students to continue progress toward their degrees.
For more information about WGU North Carolina, visit nc.wgu.edu.