Philanthropy in Action: Students Benefit From Timely Gifts to Student Emergency Support Fund

July 29, 2020

Female student sitting at table in PFTAs the world faces many challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, LSU alumni and supporters have responded to the financial needs of students.

The LSU Student Emergency Support Fund was established to provide immediate relief for students who experience sudden challenges, such as serious financial limitations, family illness, and natural disasters. This fund, which was created by the LSU Family Council within LSU Student Affairs, has existed for several years and was the featured fund in the past two LSU Senior Gift Campaigns. Gifts to the Student Emergency Support Fund impact students who need it most and helps them continue earning their degree.

“I’ve been in school for a while. My parents are deceased, and I’m out here by myself, said Leah Bivens, a kinesiology major. “I ran out of financial aid. I was struggling and working really long hours; I couldn’t focus on school. Without the Student Emergency Support Fund, I would have never made it through [the Fall 2019 semester].”

Given the scale of students’ needs at the beginning of the pandemic, LSU coordinated efforts with campus leaders to reach as many qualified students as possible. The volume of applications exceeded the current capacity of the fund, so LSU lowered the standard award amount from $1,000 to $750 to serve more students.

Since mid-March, students have applied for emergency support for a range of reasons, most of them related to the impact of COVID-19. Many applicants who have experienced financial need because of the virus have had an unexpected loss of income. Some have tested positive for the virus and/or have family members who have been affected. In every situation, donor dollars are providing immediate, life-changing support during a time when students have fewer options.

LSU’s flagship campus also secured and distributed more than $9 million in federal emergency student aid funding through the CARES Act. LSU faculty, staff, and students, including many from the College of Engineering, responded on numerous fronts to face the challenges presented by Covid-19. 

If you are an LSU student in need of support through this fund, or if you know a student who may qualify, please visit for more information about the fund and application process. You can also contact Molly McCann with questions.

To learn more about philanthropy in action or to make your impact through giving, visit

Connect with the College of Engineering development team.

Give to LSU’s Student Emergency Support Fund.