The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico and a variety of UNM Resources Centers have teamed up to offer $30,000 in emergency scholarships to undergraduate students in need.

The undergraduate student government in conjunction with African American Student Services, American Indian Student Services, El Centro de la Raza, LGBTQ Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center have organized an emergency scholarship fund totaling $30,000 for undergraduate students who are showing financial need during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

While several resource centers already offer emergency scholarships, when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit New Mexico, a group of undergraduate students in ASUNM wanted to build on this effort and give students as much financial security as possible. Undergraduates Jacob Silva, Emma Hotz, Suha Musa, Ryan Regalado, Abigail Lutz, Madelyn Lucas and Victoria Peña-Parr immediately got to work to see how this could happen.

“During a time when our peers are losing their jobs, it felt morally wrong not to do something,” says Regalado.

Typically, in the spring semester, ASUNM has a series of events including Fiestas and Spring Storm. However, in an effort to comply with social distancing, these events were cancelled and ultimately freed up some funding within ASUNM. To make better use of their funds during this time, ASUNM decided to reallocate some of this funding into emergency scholarships.

“As a student government, it’s our duty to meet the needs of the students, and we felt this was the way to do it,” added Musa.

From here, the students reached out to different resource centers to create an all hands-on-deck effort. Seeing as some resource centers have previously awarded emergency scholarship, ASUNM wanted to further these efforts by backing the emergency scholarship funds that have already been instituted and helping resource centers who did not have an established emergency scholarship process create one. ASUNM also created their own emergency scholarship process.

 “I had seen a variety of resource centers offer emergency scholarship throughout my time here at UNM. This has been something I wanted to implement in ASUNM for some time,” explained Silva. “Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, now was as good of time as any.”

All undergraduates are able to apply to resource center or ASUNM. Only one scholarship will be awarded per student to ensure that the largest number of students receive financial support. If awarded, the funding with be supplied through their bursars account.

“Our biggest concern is getting funding to students who need it as fast as possible,” states Hotz. “By having multiple entities giving out these scholarships, it allows for applications to be looked at faster and ultimately funding to be distributed faster.”

Each entity has staggered scholarship deadlines:

El Centro de la Raza, African American Student Services and LGBTQ Resource Center currently have emergency scholarship opportunities for graduate students. Students are also able to apply for Short-Term Loans.