Purdue Fort Wayne starts student emergency fund

Purdue Fort Wayne has established a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund.

Purdue University Fort Wayne has created an emergency fund for students, knowing that nine out of 10 of them need to work to cover their education and living expenses.

Students are seeing jobs vanish because of COVID-19 and they need help to pay for food, rent, medical expenses and more. Those who had campus jobs are dealing with a university that has moved classes online and, in accordance with a stay-at-home executive order from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, will limit access to its campus, 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E., to only essential employees March 25 until further notice. Retail businesses in the community have also shut and restaurants are letting employees go because they are only allowed to serve food by drive-thru, carryout and delivery.

Students in university housing must vacate by March 27, meaning some will have to pay for other housing. 

Students moving out this week will receive a $500 credit based on their individual situation, according to PFW spokesman Geoff Thomas. "In some instances, this amount may be applied to contracts for the 2020-2021 school year," he wrote in an email. "These credits will be provided at the earliest time possible once the stay-at-home order has been lifted and the campus reopens to students, faculty and staff."

“These students, and the education they receive, are helping shape northeastern Indiana as the future workforce,” Chancellor Ronald L. Elsenbaumer said in a news release. “We need our community’s support to help ensure their continued success in any way possible.”

Purdue Fort Wayne’s COVID-19 Student Relief Fund is accepting donations of any amount online at pfw.edu/give-now. Large donations can be made by contacting Ruth Stone, vice chancellor for development, at 260-481-6962.

The initiative is managed by the Office of Student Affairs, and a number of factors are used to determine student eligibility and the amount of aid disbursed.

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