Showing Students in Need that GW Cares

May 13, 2020

Hundreds of our students are struggling to meet basic expenses, including food, housing, and transportation, or the technology to continue their studies. But generous donors have stepped up and the GW Cares Student Assistance Fund has made an immediate difference in numerous students' lives.  Three GW students want you to know that a small amount of financial support from the GW Cares Student Assistance Fund has thrown them a lifeline and the comfort of knowing someone cares. 


A Grad Student Trapped by Closed Borders

“The GW Cares Student Assistance Fund has allowed me to find a resemblance of normalcy in abnormal times, and finish my last semester,” says B, an ESIA graduate student from France. He boarded an airplane for a spring break trip just a few hours before the United States suspended travel from Europe. Once he landed in France, B was not allowed  to travel inside the country, so he has not been able to reach his final destination. He lives in limbo in a room he rents by the week in a town where he has no family or friends. On top of paying for a temporary place to stay in France, B must still pay rent and utilities for his D.C. apartment until foreign nationals are allowed to return to the U.S. 

“I am extremely thankful to all who donated, and wish every student in need at GW would be able to benefit,” he said. “The generosity of those who gave to the fund helped me graduate on time.” In addition to emergency housing, he needed to pay for food and phone bills, including a new SIM card so his cell phone works in France. 

Housing assistance is GW students’ greatest emergency need right now, accounting for one-third of the GW Cares funds already granted to students. Some students lack family support, still others must now step up to help their families while completing their studies.


First-Generation Student Face Challenges 

“I’ve had to assume a higher financial responsibility,” says R, a CCAS undergraduate student. His mother lost her job because of the pandemic, and he moved home to California in mid-March. R requested help with wi-fi bills so he could stay connected and finish his coursework. He has also helped his mother pay rent and utilities. 

The past two months have been hard, but R will graduate next week, and that is a big milestone for his family.  “As a first-generation college student and first-generation American coming from a working class family, it’s been a journey to make the most out of going to university," R wrote. ”I’m in deeply grateful that GW took the initiative to care for its students amidst this chaos.” 

Lost Job Means Unpaid Bills for Grad Student

T, a CCAS graduate student, wrote to the GW Cares Student Assistance Fund explaining that she faced mounting bills for rent, groceries, and basic necessities. She lost her part-time job as a research assistant at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and wasn’t sure where to turn.  “I felt myself experiencing intrusive and overwhelming thoughts about how I was going to find money,” T said. Because of GW Cares, she was able to finish the semester.  “Luckily, GW responded immediately and with compassion. This was exactly what I needed. Thank you, GW.”

100% of your donation goes directly to students like these, and we continue to receive new requests from GW students. Please consider supporting the GW Cares Student Assistance Fund.