Financial instability is one of the many heightened fears college students have as a result of the pandemic.
Morehead State University’s response to the financial hardships created by Covid-19 is the Eagle’s NEST Fund, which stemmed from the preexisting Soar To New Heights Scholarship Campaign.
“The NEST Fund is ‘Need for Eagle Support in Trying Times’,” said Allison Caudill, assistant director of Alumni Relations & Development. “This campaign isn’t just sending scholarships; it’s sending all kinds of emergency needs for different students.”
The Eagle’s NEST Fund focuses on supporting students who have been impacted by Covid-19 and are facing financial problems that restrict their ability to pay for college.
It includes Eagle Essentials, the Share Fund and the Eagle Emergency Loan Fund.
According to the MSU website, Eagle Essentials provides food, hygiene products, and school supplies to students in need, the Share Fund supplies funds to students for temporary hardship that doesn’t need to be repaid and the Eagle Emergency Loan Fund supplies short-term interest free loans.
The MSU Foundation provides privately-funded scholarships for students, which come from donations.
“We have seen some of our most loyal supporters come forward to make contributions to the Eagle’s NEST Fund,” said Caudill. “They see current college students are in a very unique situation, and they want to come forward and do everything they can to provide private support.”
Caudill said they have raised $255,000 in emergency funds ever since COVID began.
When awarding students with scholarships, there is consideration for stimulus checks or housing credits that can assist them in paying for their education.
“Many of the students who were receiving the privately-funded aid are students who didn’t qualify for some of the stimulus aid,” said Caudill.
Often, scholarships are the only option for students to be able to pay for college, if they are unable to apply for work-study or do not feel comfortable taking out copious amounts of loans.
“Scholarships are fantastic,” said Willard Ferguson, a sophomore. “I would not be going to Morehead if I didn’t have them. Morehead gave me the most money out of any school, so this is where I came.”
More information on the Eagle’s NEST Fund can be found on https://alumni.moreheadstate.edu/ under the “Give To MSU” tab.