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.


If you are in Cuyahoga County, we recommend you check out the following for local resource guides:




  • Internet accessibility:
    • If you are living close to your campus, check with your college on technology programs they are running. They may have resources you can borrow or use during this time.
    • List of telecommunications providers with offers and deals for internet access.
    • PCs for People offers low-cost internet access.
    • 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 than buying something new.
    • You can rent a laptop temporarily with Rent-a-Center, Aaron’s, or similar businesses.
  • Online/Remote learning: see these tips and resources compiled by College Now, and don’t forget to check in with your academic advisor at your college!



If you are in Cuyahoga County, we recommend you check out the following local resources first, as they can guide you through all your options pertaining to different programs being offered over a range of issues:

  • United Way’s 2-1-1 Support: either visit their website, or dial “2-1-1” on your phone to speak to someone who can walk you through available resources locally.
  • Asian Services in Action is currently open but not receiving any in-person appointments. Case workers are assisting clients to apply for unemployment benefits, as well as other social services (food assistance and other benefits) in any language. Call (216) 881-0330.



  • 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:
  • Unemployment or Lost Wages Support
    • The Ohio Department of Health’s Resources for Economic Support list
    • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits site offers information on new, expanded coverage for unemployment and how to file.
    • College-related expenses: 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.
    • Emergency Funding options
      • Let College Now AND your college know right away! We may be able to assist you.
      • Anyone: the Scholly Foundation is offering up to $200 in emergency funding to students affected by COVID-19. Their application is online.
      • Anyone: the Student Relief Fund is disbursing funds – and referrals – to college students facing difficult circumstances at this time.
      • 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.


  • Campus housing closures
    • 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.
  • Eviction moratoriums
    • Certain cities and municipalities have instituted eviction moratoriums locally. Check with your local government to see what’s happened in your area.
    • Legal Aid tenant information hotline:
      • Cuyahoga County: 216-861-5955
      • Ashtabula, Lake, Lorain, and Geauga Counties: 440-210-4533
    • The CARES Act has set an eviction moratorium nationwide, beginning March 27 and running for four months. Only renters of “covered dwellings” (houses with a federally-backed mortgage, public housing, etc) are able to take advantage, however.
  • Emergency housing support
    • 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.
  • Utilities: 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.


  • Local food support
    • If you are still living near your college campus, see if your college has an on-campus resource that is still open and available to you.
    • Visit a local foodbank. You can find one nearest you here.
    • Consider attending a free meal. These are hosted by many groups in the area, and if you live in Cleveland you can use this interactive map to find options near you, or consult this list.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for SNAP. 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.
    • If you have questions about your eligibility, need assistance with the process, or want to understand how applying for SNAP may affect your household and their benefits, contact Akilah Ashraf at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank at 216.738.7229.

Health Care:


  • If you are facing civil legal problems related to health, housing, family, money, or work, you can contact the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for assistance. Legal Aid’s services are free for eligible clients.


Transportation: If you live in Cuyahoga County, check out the resources below for transportation solves.

  • Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Coronavirus Updates/Information
  • ACE Taxi Service (Cuyahoga County) has created a new campaign called RideCLE to offer free rides to medical personnel and reduced fares to all customers during the Covid-19 outbreak. RideCLE will allow medical staff with proper identification to ride free and all other passengers the opportunity to travel up to 5 miles for only $7, a savings of more than 50%.  Additional miles will cost $1.50 per mile for a savings of 33%.
    • All customers, including medical staff must reference account ‘RideCLE’ when booking a ride.

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.

216.454.5400 or by email to sayscholarship@collegenowgc.org

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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