Student Support Fund helps Lakers in emergencies

Hannah Lentz

College is an unpredictable time. Situations can change in the blink of an eye, sometimes leaving students in an uncomfortable financial situation. At Grand Valley State University, the Student Support Fund looks to make these kinds of emergency situations a little easier.

“The Student Support Fund helps provide funding to GVSU students that may face unforeseen occurrences while enrolled,” said Erika Wallace, associate director of scholarships. “It is administered by financial aid to provide funding to GVSU students that face extreme financial circumstances, or if their financial circumstances suddenly change due to situations such as accidents, illness, loss of employment, loss of other income or support, death of a family member and/or fire damage.”

On Dec. 1, the global Giving Tuesday movement took place at GVSU. More than 333 donors gave a total of $26,509, which is $6,509 over GVSU’s goal of $20,000. All the money fundraised on this day was put into the Student Support Fund.

Since the fund was started during the 2009-2010 academic year, it has helped a total of 105 students through difficult situations. Several other universities across the nation have implemented a similar fund to ensure students in need have something to fall back on in cases of extreme need.

“This fund allows students to continue on their path to graduation without interruption due to these unpredicted situation,” Wallace said. “This funding is not intended to replace existing financial aid and does not have to be repaid.”

Students who may experience these types of circumstances can benefit from the money raised from Giving Tuesday. If students find themselves in a situation without other options, they can contact the Financial Aid Office to see whether they qualify for additional help from the fund.

The only way money is added to the fund is through university support and mainly, donations from students, faculty, staff and community members. The fund accepts donations throughout the entire year.

“We are able to use this fund when students run into unforeseen circumstances throughout the year,” Wallace said. “It also helps provide funding to students who are close to graduation and may have reached their maximum in federal funding, it allows us the flexibility to help all different types of students in different types of situations.”

For more information about the fund, visit or contact the Financial Aid Office at (616) 331-3234.