Kaela Bedics in front of Cameron Hall

The UNCW Student Emergency Fund is a donor-supported fund for students facing unexpected financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, more than 330 students have received an emergency grant, however, the need is still great. Will you help by making a gift?

Current students in need of aid can apply here.

Students continue to be faced with new and unexpected challenges as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In true Seahawk spirit, many have stepped up to help.

Many of our students work in the industries that have been paralyzed by this pandemic. Loss of income has created hardships with paying tuition, making rent and putting food on the table along with addressing other basic needs. The UNCW Student Emergency Fund helps students offset unexpected financial challenges and focus on their academic pursuits.

CARES Act Funding, which is federal aid that has been allocated to higher education institutions, is limited and can only go so far. Philanthropy helps to close the gap – making sure Seahawks get the support they need regardless of the circumstances. Read how an emergency grant made a difference for Kaela Bedics when it mattered most »

If you are in a position to help, your gift to the UNCW Student Emergency Fund will help provide an emergency grant to a student in need. Today, and every day, UNCW is a stronger university because of those who give.


Kaela Bedics '17, '18, a current graduate student who holds bachelor degrees in criminology and psychology, as well as biology and marine biology, had just completed her first semester as a graduate student when the COVID-19 outbreak began. The company she worked for saw a rapid decline in business as the travel economy quickly disintegrated. She found herself laid off and without health insurance.

"A layoff is a shocking experience," said Bedics. "I found myself trying to figure out how I would support my household while paying for a dozen or so medications each month, one of which is nearly $6,000 without insurance."

It was then that she saw an email from Chancellor Sartarelli that included information about the emergency fund encouraging students to apply if they were in need. The grant has provided both mental and physical relief to Bedics. "As someone who lives with a chronic autoimmune disease there's a particular kind of stress that comes from a pandemic," she said. The philanthropic grant she received enabled her to continue her classes and she will reenter the workforce more prepared and more confident.

"I can't begin to express the depth of my gratitude to each and every donor. I look forward to the day when I have the ability to provide such a meaningful opportunity to someone else in the Seahawk family."

— Caroline Cropp '99, '06M

I am very grateful to be a recipient of monies from the emergency fund. I held four part time jobs while being fully enrolled in a graduate program at UNCW. However, every single one of my workplaces were shut down due to COVID-19. The UNCW emergency fund has been my only financial relief in this time when I am unable to work, and for that I am thankful!"
  - Laney '20

Thank you. I am now able to continue to pay my rent on time this month, purchase food and pay other bills while I am unsure of when I will be able to return to work. These funds have allowed me to stay enrolled at UNCW."
  - Anonymous '22

Receiving these funds helps alleviate some stress financially so I can focus on my academics and finish strong. To the donors who have contributed thus far, you have made an impact on me and I feel your support as we all move forward this semester."
  - Stephanie '20

The fund was very helpful for me and my family. Definitely helping us persevere through this crisis we are going through. We are very grateful for the emergency fund! Thank you for all that you do for the university and the families in need!"
  - Steven '21

I am so grateful for the donors who have made it possible for me to provide for my daughter and ensure my degree completion. For me, it was the difference between graduating as a future Registered Nurse next month or delaying my graduation and exploring options to continue next semester. It has also helped me secure enough diapers, wipes, and food to eat for my growing little girl."
  - Anonymous '22


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