By Tyrone Simmons, Jr. | Staff Writer

On Tuesday, March 31, the University of Hawai‘i, in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, announced the Urgent Student Relief Fund in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The relief fund, with awards up to $500 per student per year, is intended to “assist University of Hawaiʻi students with unexpected financial hardships incurred while enrolled at any UH campus to ensure students are afforded the ability to continue their education,” according to the website.

Students currently enrolled in Kapiʻolani Community College or any of the University of Hawaiʻi campuses are eligible to apply. There is no deadline to apply, though priority will be given to applications received Wednesday, April 1, by 4 p.m. Applicants can expect about a five-day turnaround from the time the application is submitted to notification, although UH is anticipating an “extraordinary” number of applications due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The university counts “costs encountered due to an unanticipated situation or emergency, loss of employment or housing, family emergencies, natural disasters or pandemic, food insecurity, medical/dental expenses, changes to childcare or transportation needs” as situations that make a student eligible for funds.

Between $100-$500, awarded only once a year, will be given per student based on the type and urgency of the hardship determined by the university. Amounts greater than $500 will be approved on a case-by-case basis. All requests may not be rewarded due to available funds and the unique nature of each request.

Though the program was created for the university to address the financial difficulties of students during the Covid-19 outbreak, the email indicates that the program will continue indefinitely in the future to provide students with an extra resource if and when other events greatly impact the success of UH students due to a sudden change in financial status.

See the Urgent Student Relief Fund page for information on the application process and eligibility requirements.