COVID-19 has shuttered the doors of public and private universities across the region, and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) was no exception.
Several campuses shut down, including Annandale and Arlington, due to fears of exposure prior to all campuses transitioning into online classes for the remainder of the semester. Now, the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation is starting an emergency aid fund for it’s financially vulnerable students.
The organization hopes to raise enough donations to offer $500 to around 1,500 students, with the grant intended to help them with their basic needs in order to finish the semester. So far, the foundation has raised $250,000 toward the fund and is hoping to raise $750,000 more.
More than half of NOVA’s student population works full-time, part-time or freelance jobs, according to the school, many of which could be impacted by the coronavirus’ economic fallout. In a survey, the school found that more than a third of NOVA students had experienced food or housing insecurity within the last month or year, and 15% had experienced homelessness.
“Ensuring every NOVA student succeeds is our highest priority always,” Anne Kress, president of NOVA, said in a statement. “But especially now, as our students face unprecedented challenges, we have an obligation to ensure they have our support.”