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COVID-19 Information for Scholars in College or Postsecondary Programs

We know that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, your semester and life have probably been severely impacted. We want you to know that you are not alone. Say Yes Cleveland and College Now Greater Cleveland are here to help our scholarship recipients affected by the COVID-19 virus.

In addition to exploring the resources below, we encourage you to contact your college with your questions and needs. Please also contact College Now right away so that we can assist you.

Housing:

  • If your campus housing is closing, check with your college’s housing department to see if there are exceptions that could be made. Some campuses, even those that are closing, are issuing exemptions for some students.
  • If you need to store things as your living situation changes, U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage to customers with college IDs. Contact the store nearest you and confirm the offer.
  • Contact the United Way nearest you for more information on resources in your community. If you are in Cuyahoga County, you can dial “2-1-1” and ask the operator for information on housing support that meets your needs.
  • If you are in Cuyahoga County and are housing insecure (without a place to stay, or facing homelessness), consider A Place 4 Me. They provide temporary housing referrals, emergency rental assistance, and other services. The best contact there is Christie Sozio, who can be reached at 440-823-7227.
  • Please note that major utility carriers in Northeast Ohio (Cleveland Water, Cleveland Public Power, FirstEnergy, and Dominion) have all pledged to continue service to customers during this crisis. However, if you are falling behind on payments, please contact the utility company directly to find out what your options are.

Food:

  • If your employment situation has changed with the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Page through this detailed slideshow to see what SNAP would offer, what the qualifications are, etc. To apply for benefits, click on your current state of residence and contact the local SNAP office.
  • Visit a local foodbank. You can find one nearest you here, though we again strongly recommend contacting your college to see if they have an on-campus resource that remains open.

Health Care:

Financial:

  • The College Now and Say Yes scholarship requirements will not change. For more information on those, click here for details on College Now and click here for details on Say Yes. Should you not meet requirements, remember that both scholarships have an appeals process. For questions about the scholarships, you can contact:
  • You probably have lots of questions right now around refunds, work study (if you’re receiving it) and financial aid in general. Check out this summary by com to see what to expect. (Just a reminder – this is what to expect in general. For specific information, contact your financial aid office.)
    • Refunds: some colleges are prorating costs such as housing and meal plans. Check with your college on what the policy is, and how you might qualify for any refunds or reimbursement.
    • Work study: it may still be possible for you to receive work study funding, regardless of your ability to actually work. Please check with your financial aid department at your school for more details.
  • If you have need of emergency financial assistance, please let us and let your college know right away! Here are a few options we’re aware of to check out:
    • Anyone: the Scholly Foundation is offering up to $200 in emergency funding to students affected by COVID-19. Their application is online.
    • Northeast Ohio residents: the Hebrew Free Loan Association is offering emergency loans for COVID-19-related circumstances. To qualify, you must live in Northeast Ohio, have an income that would allow you to repay the loan, and have a co-signatory.
  • If you lost your job due to the COVID-19 situation, or if you lost your job due to being placed under medical quarantine, you may be eligible for unemployment.

Internet Accessibility:

  • Check out this comprehensive list from Davidson College on providers and wireless carriers offering free and discounted internet access in response to COVID-19.
  • The non-profit PCs for People offers low-cost internet access.
  • If you are in an area where the public library system is open, check to see if you can check out a mobile hot-spot to use. [NOTE: Cleveland Public Library is now closed to the public.]
  • If you live in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library buildings are offering free wi-fi in their parking lots. Their buildings remain closed, however.

Computer Accessibility:

  • Check with your college to see if there are provisions for students who need to borrow hardware. For example, CSU has a Mobile Technology Loan Program.
  • PCs for People, depending on your location, could help you get a gently-used computer for a lower price ($50-$150).
  • You can rent a laptop temporarily with Rent-a-Center, Aaron’s, or similar businesses.

If you are in Cuyahoga County, we also recommend you check out the Cleveland Pandemic Response Covid-19 Resource List (Google Document) for information on local resources. (Please note that College Now was not and is not involved in the creation of this document, and cannot verify that information there is correct.)

Please continue to check your email and stay tuned to our social media channels. We can still engage with you virtually to help answer any questions and concerns you may have and get you the information and resources needed to thrive in this moment. We are committed to doing whatever we can to support you during this time.

QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOLARSHIPS
216.454.5400 or by email to sayscholarship@collegenowgc.org

GENERAL QUESTIONS
216.273.6350 or by email to info@sayyescleveland.org

Additionally, please monitor updates from Say Yes Cleveland here and on our Facebook page @SayYesCleveland

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