Almost half a million dollars in support for students in need
Students disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic are set to receive nearly half a million dollars in financial support from James Cook University.
The financial support is part of the Student Success Support Package (SSSP), which includes financial support, an academic safety net to ensure students aren’t academically disadvantaged by the pandemic, and health and wellbeing measures.
Director of Student Services Jodie Midson said the University has received more than 500 applications for financial support, with 98 per cent of those applying being found eligible, and some eligible for multiple grants.
“To date, we have offered 511 x $400 Fast Track Student Support grants, 138 x $100 Technology Bursaries, and 119 x Extraordinary Support Grants of up to $2000 per student paid in fortnightly instalments,” she said.
“The feedback we are receiving from students is that it’s making a big difference to their quality of life and ability to succeed at university.”
The SSSP is on-going, with applications still being accepted, and current applications being followed up.
“We continue to reach out to those students who are currently receiving the Extraordinary Funding to find out how they are going,” Ms Midson said. “We want to be aware, if their circumstances do not improve, or worsen.”
The University is also spending more than $2500 per week to feed students from its Food Pantries in Townsville and Cairns, plus additional donations from Food Relief NQ and other local businesses in Cairns and Townsville, including Study Cairns via the Cairns Student Hub.
Master’s student Nimmy Mannil lost her job in retail due to store closures and received a Fast Track Student Support grant.
“It helped me pay my rent,” she said. “I really appreciate the grant and the access to the JCU Food Pantry because it makes a lot of difference. I know it takes a lot of money but we really appreciate it.”
Fellow Master’s student Bisham Lama said he is also grateful for the support from JCU.
“The wellbeing support people from JCU have been so helpful,” he said. “They understand what we are experiencing and I’m so grateful for the Fast Track Student Support grant and the Food Pantry.”
James Cook University thanks the University students, staff and alumni, and members of the local Cairns and Townsville communities who have donated to the Student Success Support Package fund and the pantry.