Home COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency funds help students affected by pandemic job loss

Emergency funds help students affected by pandemic job loss

by Keisha Balatbat

Ryerson has created multiple grants for those struggling with financial aid

the corner of a Canadian Tire building on a rainy evening
(Steve Harris/WikiMedia Commons)

Despite the refusal from the university to lower tuition costs for this academic year, Ryerson has introduced opportunities for students affected by the pandemic to apply for financial aid. 

Feraud Lallmohamed, a fourth-year creative industries student, said he was thankful for the COVID-19 relief funds established by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) in the past year. 

“Not having that steady flow of income was kind of hard, so to be able to get something from your school, it kind of just makes you feel like they care,” he said.

Lallmohamed, like some other students, worked in retail and was laid off due to mall closures. 

When he first heard about the fund through a friend’s recommendation, he was hesitant to apply. He had never applied for scholarships or bursaries before and did not know where to start and what funds were available. 

Lallmohamed said the experience of applying for aid encouraged him to seek out other university resources available to help students, since he never really looked into them before. 

“It was because of this that made me realize, ‘Wow, I should really pay attention to what our school has to offer and take advantage of it because it’s there to help us.’”

At the end of March 2020, the RSU established a COVID-19 relief fund for students, totalling $40,000. Those selected received up to $400 in financial aid. 

The RSU re-opened the fund in August 2020 due to high demand, this time offering a total of $100,000. 

“While students are doing their best to acclimatize to the new normal, we hope to support them every single step of the way,” said RSU President Ali Yousaf, in a letter posted on Facebook that month.

The RSU received over 1,000 student applications according to the group’s October 2020 meeting minutes. The Ryersonian reached out to the RSU for comment on updated numbers and future plans but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Other departments and organizations at Ryerson have also set up relief funds. 

The SOS fund is available to help journalism students at Ryerson meet emergency financial needs. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. 

Over 2,000 Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) students are eligible to receive $450 from theTRSM Student Emergency Fund. The Ted Rogers Student Society has committed $100,000 in financial aid to the fund, which is now no longer available. 

The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson along with The Chang School offered continuing education and part-time students a grant of up to $500 in April 2020. After an overwhelming demand, applications have since closed.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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