Rams always seem to find a way to take care Rams – especially in the toughest times.
That certainly has been the case during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. With the physical campus quiet, classes being taught online and many students left wondering how to pay their bills, nearly 500 donors have contributed more than $36,000 to help students in need through Ram Aid.
Extending a helping hand for nearly 30 years
Ram Aid, formerly known as the Student Crisis Fund, was established in 1991 to support students who are at risk of leaving CSU because of unanticipated expenses during a time of crisis. Funds are distributed by the Office of Financial Aid within 24 hours of their approval.
The fund is utilized most often by low-income students who are on the brink of dropping out of CSU. The last time Ram Aid was heavily accessed was 2017 when the DACA program ended and flooding in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey impacted numerous CSU students.
Helping students stay in school
The COVID-19 crisis has not only cost many students their jobs but impacted family income as well. Sonia Adame Tarin, a senior biological science major who’s also a first-generation student, applied for Ram Aid so she could complete her degree.
“My mom has lost her income completely due to COVID-19, and my dad is now only working part time,” she said. “My expenses and rent aren’t going anywhere but the ability to pay for these bills has really diminished since the shutdown/stay home order has been issued. I usually rely on support from my parents for my bills since it is difficult for me to get a job (due to my status). Now with their pay cut I can no longer pay my bills as well. It has been really difficult.”
The average Ram Aid award is $1,000 and can be used for any number of reasons. The goal is to keep students in school and on track to graduate from CSU. Adame Tarin plans to use her Ram Aid money to pay for utilities, rent and groceries.
“I just want to thank all of the donors, because without them, I would not be able to pay for my rent and electricity and many other of my bills for the upcoming months,” she said. “I want to let you know that your donations are helping tons of students like myself, to have a bit more security for these really hard times. Thanks for everything!”