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The Graduate College Student Emergency Fund directly changes the lives of graduate students who may not have the support they need to overcome unexpected life situations and emergencies that arise while they complete their graduate studies. Whether it’s paying for medical bills or providing care for a child or family member — these unexpected emergencies often hinder a student's ability to continue their graduate studies.
ASU serves over 28,000 graduate students. It is not uncommon for graduate students to have spouses, children, and elderly relatives to care for. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASU saw a significant increase in the need to support Graduate Students who had children, spouses, and other relatives that needed care. Thankfully, the Graduate College was able to use unrestricted funds to support graduate students during this time. Graduate students were able to apply for funds to lessen the financial burden and stress of being a caregiver. From these unrestricted funds, 87 graduate students received financial support in 2020 to ensure their continued academic success towards graduation. One recipient shared, “I care for a child with severe special needs. He was in and out of school last year due to COVID and it made my life incredibly challenging. I was in the first year of my PhD and homeschooling my son with autism. This funding helped me bring in someone a few hours a week so I could focus on my own schoolwork and research.” This fund not only has the potential to help graduate students who are caregivers but will also allow the Graduate College to support graduate students with medical bills and other kinds of unexpected emergencies. When you give to the Graduate College Student Emergency Fund, you provide generous support that not only enhances the lives of students but also the communities in which they live and work.
At the time of the award I was personally struggling to manage my studies, pay tuition fees, and take care of my family. This funding helped to give adequate care to my two-year-old son and provide assistance to my wife who had just gone through a knee surgery. This support helped me to finish my graduate studies, and I'm so grateful to the community for helping me move forward despite such challenges. I have never felt so supported by an institution, and I'm glad to say that I'm a Sundevil!”
- Vinu Raj Subramaniyan Radha, ASU Graduate College Alumnus, Masters Degree of Global Management