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Graduate Studies launches drive for funds to sustain students through personal difficulties

Friday, November 03, 2017

LAWRENCE — Higher education is filled with anecdotes of promising graduate students destined for scholarly and professional success until life gets in the way. Now, when life deals a harsh blow, graduate students at the University of Kansas will be able to fight back, or at least limit the adverse effects.

The Office of Graduate Studies, in conjunction with KU Endowment, has developed a LaunchKU Project that will provide graduate students with emergency funds to sustain them during a personal crisis.

“Each year, Graduate Studies learns from graduate students about disruptive and difficult situations that create financial hardship and impede their recovery and progress in their degree programs,” said Michael Roberts, dean of graduate studies.

The fund is designed to assist graduate students affected by unforeseen financial circumstances that might prevent a student’s progress and completion. 

“We are all concerned about students’ health and well-being and are discouraged that other resources are so rarely available to help. We want every KU graduate student to succeed and not be held back by these calamities.”

The Graduate Student Emergency Fund LaunchKU initiative went live Oct. 30 and will run until Nov. 30. The initial goal is $10,000. 

“We set up the Graduate Student Emergency Fund last year with some initial donations, but we determined it’s essential we build a sustainable base for the funding,” Roberts said. “It’s important that we help students now as well as build a financial reserve to help students in the future.”

Once the fund is established, Graduate Studies staff will receive and review applications from graduate students on the KU Lawrence campus. The fund could assist students facing financial struggles rising from a variety of circumstances such as medical, psychological or dental services; travel costs related to death or illness in the immediate family; or emergency security and safety needs.

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