It’s no secret that income and financial matters are some of the leading causes of low college retention rates. According to Jeffery J. Selingo of the Washington Post, children from families earning more than $90,000 have a 1-in-2 chance of getting a Bachelor’s degree by 24. For families earning under $35,000 that falls to a 1-in-17 chance.
Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) ran into numerous students who were unable to register for the new semester because of overdue balances and financial holds, so they decided to step in.
The organization members launched a GoFundMe campaign on Jan. 22 with the hopes of raising $50,000.
“We heard of a lot of students with holds on their accounts, and of students that are currently living in the residence halls but are not registered for classes,” said Leila Bouchekouk, SGA’s President. “We felt helpless to be quite honest.”
After speaking with some of these students, Bouchekouk went on to contact other SGA members for ideas on how to help. Makenley Jean, SGA’s treasurer, and Eric Hunt, SGA’s Vice President Eric Hunt came up with the idea of starting a GoFundMe.
They began working immediately with their executive board and ESU administrators to get the fundraiser up and running before Jan. 27., the due date for the account holds.
“It started very quickly, we did not have a lot of time,” Bouchekouk said, “but we try to do as much good as possible with the short time frame we have.”
For those who had financial holds and could not register for classes, SGA worked with the Provost Office, Academic Affairs, and with the Dean’s counsels to allow students to observe classes so they wouldn’t be behind.
The organization also created an “Outreach Day” for students to come to members of SGA and share any concerns they might have. This day is to offer a personalized helping hand, student to student. SGA helps others form schedules and help with financial issues.
“We are not financial advisers by any means, but we try to give as much advice to students like have you exhausted this resource or this resource?” Bouchekouk said. “We are not financial advisers by any means, but we try to give as much advice to students like have you exhausted this resource or this resource?”
Bouchekouk wants students to feel that SGA is a supportive landline for them and are here to help them in any way they can. Though the GoFundMe only raised $597, SGA is still looking for ways to help students.
“We’re just trying to do as much good as possible,” Bouchekouk said. “Hopefully this will not have to happen in the future.”
Email Daniela at: