Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of the students at County College of Morris (CCM) reported that they faced financial challenges, ranging from food insecurities to housing issues. Now that many have lost jobs, been confronted with health and mental health issues, required laptops or other equipment to take classes online, or encountered other challenges, the financial difficulties students face have reached unprecedented levels.
The federal CARES Act provides funding to students who are dealing with financial issues that threaten to impede or interrupt their ability to continue their college education, but not all students and situations qualify. To ensure that funds are available to assist as many students as possible, the CCM Foundation has launched the Titan Emergency Fund Campaign. The Titan Emergency Fund was created earlier this year to provide students with financial support to meet unexpected expenses, from car repairs, to food, housing, medical and other issues, so they can stay on track to earn their college degree or certificate. The campaign is intended to increase the amount of funding that is available to meet the heightened challenges students are now facing.
A survey of CCM students, released in January by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University, found that 33 percent of respondents had experienced food insecurities, 35 percent faced housing issues and 11 percent had experienced homelessness. A total of 49 percent of CCM students said they had experienced at least one of those forms of basic needs insecurity in the past year. Also 56 percent of CCM students receive financial aid through grants, loans and scholarships.
“The number of students facing financial issues was staggering before COVID-19 and now the pandemic has disrupted the lives of our students in even more troublesome ways,” notes Katie Olsen, executive director of the CCM Foundation. “To help ensure that our students are not forced to give up on their dreams, the CCM Foundation Board has launched this campaign to provide much-needed assistance. Gifts to the Titan Emergency Fund will help students meet unexpected expenses and will be awarded immediately where need is the most critical. We all can help.”
Awards to students from the fund can range from small to large amounts, depending upon specific needs. All contributions to the fund will be awarded directly to students. To make a donation to the Titan Emergency Fund to help a student today, go to www.ccm.edu/FundDonate/.