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Mar. 20, 2020 – Room and Board adjustments launching; University invests $1 million in new Student Hardship Fund

Posted by on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Community Messages.

Dear Vanderbilt students and families,

As we continue to respond and adapt to the evolving impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, Vanderbilt University remains steadfast in our commitment to our community and our teaching and research mission.

The well-being and success of our students and community is our top priority. With that in mind, I wanted to share two new initiatives with you today to support our students and their families during this difficult time. These include housing and dining financial adjustments for the spring 2020 semester and the launch of a newly established Student Hardship Fund.

We understand the disappointment, difficulties and uncertainty caused by these unprecedented times, and hope that these initiatives will assist in smoothing the transition and alleviating some of the difficulties Vanderbilt students and their families may be facing.

Adjustment details

Students who have left campus or are leaving campus by March 22 as requested will receive an adjustment in housing and dining costs for a period of time. Both housing and dining adjustments will take into account the student’s financial aid. Please see the FAQ on the COVID-19 website for more details on the housing and dining adjustments.

Students are not required to request an adjustment for spring 2020 room and board charges; all credits for housing and dining will be calculated and applied automatically to the appropriate student’s account on or before April 15, 2020.

We will begin to process adjustments immediately in order to get them to you as quickly as possible, as we recognize the economic circumstances many students and families face during this urgent public health emergency. Students will see the adjustments reflected on their student account portal.

More details about the adjustments are available on the university’s COVID-19 website, including information on adjustments for Opportunity Vanderbilt students.

Student Hardship Fund

To further support our students facing significant challenges as a result of having to leave campus, we are also announcing that the university is providing $1 million to launch a new Student Hardship Fund. The fund will help undergraduate, graduate and professional students with demonstrated need by alleviating financial burdens associated with the unexpected and abrupt changes to their Vanderbilt experience necessitated by this global public health crisis.

We have posted an online application form that students with demonstrated need can use to request support. We are committed to ensuring rapid turnaround of all approved requests. More details are available on the university’s COVID-19 website.

A number of alumni and donors have already reached out to express their desire to help students in need during this time. We, as always, appreciate our alumni’s lifelong commitment to our mission and will work with them to further build the fund.

Supporting the Vanderbilt community

We are taking these measures to help address some of the impacts the coronavirus pandemic has had on our students and their families. We have also committed to preserving the compensation and benefits of our housing, dining and other staff whose roles were affected by the move to alternative and online education this semester as though the school year proceeded as normal.

As we move forward, we will continue to heed the advice from the CDC and our own experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and will continue our efforts to be as nimble and swift as possible with our actions and communications.

Your patience, solidarity and dedication is both appreciated and inspiring. We are a community committed, together, to each other in this challenging time.

With appreciation,

Susan R. Wente
Interim Chancellor and Provost