Feature Story

UCF Community Steps Up with Relief for Hardest Hit Students and Employees

Donations help recipients weather pandemic-related financial challenges.

For most UCF students and employees, navigating the sudden changes in learning, work and lifestyle brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has been trying. For others, it has been catastrophic. As a result of job loss or other economic impacts, these Knights face questions not only about the future of their academic or professional careers but also about their housing and food security.

In response, the UCF community has stepped up with an outpouring of support. So far, donors including alumni, university faculty and staff, community members, area businesses and even current students have contributed more than $100,000 to three funds designated for relief efforts: the Student Emergency Fund, which provides short-term emergency funding; the Student Housing Insecurity Fund, which provides micro-grants to help cover gaps as students relocate or re-situate; and the Employee Relief Fund.

Of the total, $20,000 came from a 1995 graduate and Pi Kappa Alpha member who pledged to give that amount once 175 other donors had made gifts. His business partner and former fraternity brother, also a 1995 graduate, has committed to add another $10,000.

Another $10,000 in relief funding is on the way from a group of Orlando-based timeshare industry leaders that has supported UCF for years.

Each week, dozens of applicants for assistance are carefully screened for eligibility, while numerous others await review. Most recipients so far have used funding to pay rent and bills after losing jobs. The need for help will continue, though, long after the immediate crisis has passed as students look for ways to afford tuition and other school-related expenses in the fall.

Students experiencing situations that significantly impact academic or personal success should contact Student Care Services to learn more about eligibility for assistance.

Faculty or staff in distress should contact UCF Human Resources. 



Powering the Future

We believe that philanthropy, like education, has the power to change lives. We know you have choices in your charitable giving, and through the work we do together, we hope to give you every reason to choose UCF.

© University of Central Florida Foundation, Inc. 2021