Bloomsburg, PA - Bloomsburg University and the Bloomsburg University Foundation announced today that the BU Alumni Board has reallocated $80,000 to help students who face immediate financial needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic enroll at Bloomsburg University (BU).
The redirection of these funds will jumpstart the Alumni Association Academic Promise initiative as the coronavirus crisis will continue to have a dramatic impact on BU’s enrollment and retention, especially for those students who are at greatest financial risk. In 2019, 46% of BU students came from households classified as low or very low income.
“This responsive and thoughtful collaborative effort from the Bloomsburg University Alumni Board is a testament to its commitment to supporting our students and exemplifies the Husky spirit of resilience and togetherness,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “We are fortunate to have such dedicated board members, and I am very grateful for their flexibility in providing opportunities for our future Huskies.”
The BU Alumni Association will redistribute funds from the Alumni Reserve originally designated to support program funds or specific colleges. The funds will create scholarships that will help BU attract qualified students, regardless of their current financial situations, that may have been negatively impacted during these times.
“Scholarships can often be the difference between a prospective student choosing between Bloomsburg and another school,” said BU Associate Vice President of Undergraduate admissions Chris Lapos. “Having any extra incentive that allows us to help students make the transition to BU a little easier is an advantage for us in a very competitive market, especially during these times.”
The repurposing of the funds was sparked by the university’s fundraising efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the BU Foundation’s Strengthen the Pack fund. This student emergency aid initiative has raised more than $105,000 from 241 donors and is deploying resources to students facing urgent short-term needs like computer and internet access, temporary housing needs, tuition assistance, and food insecurities.
Inspired by their loyalty to their alma mater, the Alumni Association quickly stepped up to expand financial support to assist in recruiting new Huskies to the pack. “These funds were originally dedicated to a variety of specific areas and programs within the university,” said BU Alumni Association President Todd Argenziano. “But with this unusual situation, we realize many students will be facing the reality their families won’t be able to afford to enroll them due to job loss and other circumstances. We thought this would be the best way to provide those students with the help they need to begin their BU journeys.”
To learn more or to make a gift to help support BU students facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus crisis, visit giving.bloomu.edu/GiveNow or call 1-855-282-4483.