As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the United States, many students at the University of Wisconsin-Superior were adversely impacted, not unlike students at nearly every other higher education institution.

The rapid transition to remote learning modalities left some students struggling to meet financial obligations and secure the technology and living arrangements they needed. UW-Superior staff and faculty worked diligently to connect with every student to assess their individual needs. The university’s alert system, Navigate, proved an invaluable tool to monitor students’ progress and link them with available resources where needed. 

For some students, the loss of income they and their families experienced, combined with some unexpected costs, threatened to interrupt their educational goals. To help offset this pressure, UW-Superior made several sources of funding available to help students persist.  

Like other higher education institutions, UWS received and has been distributing CARES Act Relief funding in accordance with federal government requirements. To date, it has distributed nearly $250,000. However, the university also went further in securing additional resources for students.

An Emergency Grant Fund was quickly established with dollars made available from the discontinuation of the Perkins Loan program, as well as the generosity of donors who contributed through the UW-Superior Foundation. To date, more than $92,500 has been distributed through this fund to students who applied and met eligibility requirements. 

In addition, to assist students who were no longer able to work at UW-Superior at all or in the capacity they originally anticipated, the university provided income continuation payouts to all student employees with active contracts. 

“In this difficult and uncertain time, we have been pleased to offer these resources to our students in an effort to keep them progressing toward their educational goals,” said Donna Dahlvang, financial aid director. “As part of our ongoing commitment to our students, we will continue to seek additional resources for our students wherever possible.”