Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Educational Foundation has launched a new emergency student aid fund to assist students struggling with the personal and economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 60% of NOVA’s 85,000 students work full- or part-time jobs. For many, what little income they have is diminishing rapidly. Financially vulnerable students face furloughs and layoffs as a result of the pandemic, and as child-care options and schools close, student-parents are facing extreme challenges in keeping any employment.
The NOVA COVID-19 Emergency Student Aid Fund will help with the rapid delivery of emergency aid to students who need it most. NOVA’s aim is to meet students’ basic needs to help them stay in school and complete the semester. The goal is to raise $750,000 to provide at least 1,500 grants of $500 each.
The NOVA Foundation has committed $250,000 to kick-off the effort to encourage individual and corporate donors to join the Foundation in helping our future workforce stay strong.
“Ensuring every NOVA student succeeds is our highest priority always,” said Dr. Anne Kress, NOVA’s President. “But especially now, as our students face unprecedented challenges, we have an obligation to ensure they have our support. Our students will help our community rebuild and prosper but they can only do this if we provide the assistance they need. I encourage everyone to consider donating to the Emergency Student Aid Fund.”
With an enrollment of more than 85,000 credit and non-credit students, NOVA is the 14th largest institution of higher learning in the United States. It offers 73 associate degree programs that lead to employment or university transfer opportunities and 61 certificate programs that teach specific skill sets such as healthcare and IT that are in demand across our region. NOVA graduates more than 6,000 students annually, making the College a leading source of talented hires for the region.
However, statistics only tell part of the story. NOVA students attend classes and succeed, often against great odds. More than 20% of NOVA students are the first in their families to attend college, and 76% of first-generation students belong to a racial or ethnic minority. NOVA students hail from more than 160 countries and speak nearly 120 different languages.
In January 2020, The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) conducted a survey of NOVA students after the college held a ‘Student Needs Symposium’. The survey assessed the basic needs (defined as food or housing insecurity/homelessness) of NOVA students. More than 1,400 students participated and the assessment has become a telling benchmark of the challenges faced by students at two-year colleges across the nation.
The survey results confirmed what many faculty and staff long suspected about our student body - basic needs insecurity is a very real challenge to many students. The survey revealed:
- 32% of respondents experienced food insecurity in the prior 30 days
- 39% of respondents experienced housing insecurity in the previous year
- 15% of respondents experienced homelessness in the previous year
49% of students at Northern Virginia Community College experienced at least one of these forms of basic needs insecurity in the past year.
This information has caused the college to mobilize quickly in the changing public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Northern Virginia Community College is dedicated to doing everything in its power to keep students in school to complete the current semester and continue progress toward their degrees.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to assist NOVA students during this challenging time. You may donate:
Other ways to donate:
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Phone: 703-323-3023
You can locate the original Press Release article on the NOVA website here.