Emergency Aid During the Pandemic: Improving equitable practice and documenting impact

Deadline to sign up: July 17, 2020

Retaining students’ connectivity to their education is a crucial and essential goal for colleges and universities around the country during the pandemic. Emergency relief to support their fundamental needs is commonly used, but little is known about how program implementation correlates to program impact. Your institution is encouraged to join a national effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Drs. Sara Goldrick-Rab and Derek Price of The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice and DVP-Praxis, to assess how students are impacted by emergency aid during the pandemic, and what institutions and policymakers can do to enhance that equitable impact.
The time commitment to the endeavor is minimal. The average institution will dedicate no more than two staff hours during Fall 2020 to participate. A lesser number of institutions will be asked to allocate one additional hour.


  1. Learn from a written summary and webinar about how institutions around the country are delivering emergency aid programs (December 2020).
  2. Receive a confidential institution-specific report summarizing your students’ needs for food, housing, transportation, childcare, and mental health supports and their access to and experiences of using emergency aid (March 2021).
  3. Examine recommendations for improving the delivery of emergency aid, based on data collected from you and your peers (September 2021), and a corresponding practice guide (November 2021).

How to Participate:

  1. Sign up by Friday, July 17. In the scholarship section, list “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
  2. Field the #RealCollege survey to all enrolled students in September 2020.
  3. Complete a short staff survey about your emergency aid program(s) in October 2020.

A small number of institutions will also be asked to take part in a short supplemental interview in spring 2021.

Questions? Write the Hope Center’s Research Team at hopesrvy@temple.edu.