Alumni Emergency Assistance Fund
March 26, 2020 UPDATE: Alumni Emergency Fund renewal request increments increased to $3,000
In light of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak and its potential impact on Cristo Rey alumni due to college dorm closures or cancellation of classes, we have assembled a Cristo Rey Network Alumni Emergency Assistance Fund intended for Cristo Rey schools to alleviate expenses directly related to changes in college campus operations.
Through the generosity of donors, we have received two major gift commitments to help rapidly meet the needs of alumni. We have amended our process to increase school access to resources and have immediately deployed $2,000 to each Cristo Rey school that has responded to communications and currently has graduates.
Each school may request additional funds after the initial $2,000 is expended, using this application form. Individual requests in increments of $3,000 will be considered depending on the availability of funds, and after the submission of an expense report to the national office for the first wave of assistance.
Alumni Assistance Fund Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible? Any student currently enrolled in two-year college, four-year college, or graduate school
Who should submit the request for funding? Alumni Advisors or school designee
Eligible alumni needs for ALL college students:
food stipend as a result of dining hall closure
storage unit for dorm belongings
transportation to/from campus or home
change fees for previously purchased transportation
up to $300 for technological devices necessary for online learning (chromebook recommended, $199) Please DO NOT share the dollar amount cap in your external communications, as to ensure funds are available for other needs
temporary housing for the duration of the dorm closure as currently stated by the university (you may reapply if the period extends)
Purpose of Funds
The purpose of launching the Alumni Emergency Assistance Fund is to meet the urgent financial needs of as many Cristo Rey graduates as possible. It is expected that Cristo Rey school staff exercise due diligence in making funding decisions.
Please consider the following guidelines when allocating emergency assistance funds to support graduates:
Limit disbursement of cash stipends by making direct purchases for requested items (ex. Technology; Equipment; gift cards; ship items to students via shared amazon link). When provision of stipends is necessary, it is recommended that schools send funds using Venmo.
Do not disperse funds for grocery or food expense in amounts that exceed $75 per week, and for no more than two-week increments.
Please ensure that advisors work with graduates to seek all other resources available through their college or university before dispersing funds.
If the total awarded funds are not expended by September 1, 2020, individual conversations will be held with each school to determine how to best utilize leftover assistance funds. It is the intention for these funds is that they be continually used to support emergency needs of Cristo Rey alumni after September 1.
Please see the expense report form, to be completed and submitted as a requirement of receiving support through the Alumni Emergency Assistance Fund. Reports will be due by June 1, 2020 or before each additional request for assistance funds. Schools are required to submit a report for each disbursement, with the final report being due by September 4, 2020. Please submit all expense report forms to Audrey Michaelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting requirements will include the following:
Proof of enrollment (ex. Screenshot of current semester courses; Tuition payment confirmation; written statement from student and/or their assigned academic advisor)
Description of the request for emergency assistance
How need was met using emergency assistance funds (ex. Gift card; school purchase of computer)
Timeline of school closure
Impact of college or university closure on the student’s education and plans for continuation.
Attached receipts whenever possible.
Thank you for your efforts to meet the emerging needs of alumni as they navigate the ever-changing circumstances with their institutions of higher education.
Resources for Cristo Rey Alumni
The following resources are available to college students displaced due to campus closures:
U-Haul has extended 30 days of free self-storage to help college students impacted by unforeseen schedule changes at their universities. The free month applies to new customers with college IDs and is intended to alleviate the cost of storing their dorm belongings. Students can click on uhaul.com/storage to find the store nearest them.
Enterprise has launched a college student travel assistance program, making it easier for students to get home to their families by reducing the car rental age minimum to 18 and waiving the young renter fees through May 31, 2020.
Frontier Airlines is offering free flights for students affected by the COVID -19 outbreak. Students must sign up and buy tickets by March 23rd to over 100 destinations
For all low-income students and families in need of internet services, Comcast has announced a comprehensive response to COVID-19, including two free months of high-speed internet services and access to free wifi-hotspots throughout the country. Both Comcast and T-Mobile have suspended internet caps for the next 60 days.
Resources for Alumni Advisors
Additional Resources for Alumni Advisors:
Sample letter/email for alumni outreach regarding the assistance fund
Survey template for alumni in need of assistance: “Alumni Emergency Assistance Request- Funding Available - Respond ASAP” (please feel free to make a copy, edit, and share widely)