University News

WIU Student Emergency Fund Assists Over 2,000

May 8, 2020

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Last month, Western Illinois University established the WIU Student Emergency Fund to assist its students affected by the ongoing pandemic. To date, more than 2,000 students have received emergency funding.

"I want to say thank you for allowing setting up this emergency care fund. I am very grateful for everything Western has done to help me and my fellow students succeed," said a grant recipient. "I've said this in every email and I'm going to say it again, I am incredibly thankful the University offered this and you all really came through and helped me keep going. Thank you again. So very much."

The WIU Foundation, which matched $25,000 for the fund, raised over $114,000 during Western's Purple and Gold Day of Caring on April 24. The money raised, along with federal CARES Act funding, has provided nearly $3 million to 2,091 WIU students. The emergency fund grants do not have to be repaid. According to Bobbi Smith, interim director of the Office of Financial Aid, while Spring 2020 grant applications are now closed, there may be an opportunity to re-open the grant applications in Summer 2020, depending on funding.

"COVID-19 created financial challenges and disruptions for many of our students. It was our goal to do all we could to ease the added pressures our students have been facing. We are so appreciative of our wonderful donors and the WIU Foundation for spearheading this campaign to provide the necessary funding for our students," said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham.

In addition to emergency funding, current and incoming students and/or their families who have experienced a change in financial circumstances as a result of the pandemic, Financial Aid has additional resources in place, including the Special Circumstances Appeal (live link to page).

"Thank you so much for helping me. I'm literally crying right now as I write this. I've been so stressed about finances and the help you have provided me helps alleviate that so much," another recipient added. "Someday, when I have the capacity, I hope to return the favor. Just, thank you."

For more information on the special circumstances appeal and other financial aid matters, email To donate to the Student Emergency Fund, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations