Ford Fund Launches COVID-19 Grant Program to Assist Latinx College Students

HACU joins relief effort to help meet basic needs

Silhouette of white Greek male icon standing between two pillars to create an H on red background above HACU ALUMNI HISPANIC ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES in dark green on white background

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Company Fund and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) have teamed up to support college students needing emergency relief funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ford Fund COVID-19 College Grants program with HACU will help students overcome financial burdens and provide some stability as they work to balance their academic obligations.

Hispanic students have a much higher level of financial insecurity due to COVID-19. According to a report from the student debt resource Student Loan Hero, 36% of Hispanic students were having trouble covering food costs, and 18% struggled with housing expenses.

Ford Fund COVID-19 College Grants provide one-time relief assistance of $500 for undergraduate students currently enrolled at HACU-member Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) who have needs in one of four categories:

• Food: lack of food and nutrition
• Housing: inability to pay for rent, mortgage, electricity or water bills, and other needs
• Transportation: unable make essential trips to work, grocery shopping or medical visits
• Technology: inability to purchase devices or internet needed to participate in digital learning

To apply, students had to complete the online application and write an essay about how they are showing resilience and strength in the face of the current crisis. Students also were asked to state how they would utilize the grant to meet specific needs.

Description with graphics of $500 grants to undergraduate students for food, housing, transportation and technology
Click image to enlarge.

Within the first few days after the program launched on July 15, more than 3,000 applications were submitted, proving Latino college students are in great need of assistance. Originally planned for 64 students, the number of grant recipients has been expanded to 104. This effort has highlighted the most pressing need for students is food insecurity and shelter. Applications are now closed and after the review process to select recipients, grant winners will be announced early September.

"No one can continue their education if they are hungry, worried about bills or don't have the tools necessary to participate in digital learning. We're pleased to expand our partnership with HACU with this new initiative to help students meet the many challenges they face during this difficult and uncertain time," said Joe Ávila, manager, Ford Fund.

The Ford Fund COVID-19 College Grants program with HACU will also provide a series of webinars during the 2020-2021 academic year to help students address issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

To learn more about how Ford Fund is providing critical assistance to communities around the world in response to the global pandemic, visit www.fordfund.org/covid19.

To learn more about Ford Fund's longstanding commitment to providing Hispanics with vital resources and access to opportunities, please visit Empowering Hispanic Success.