4/8/2020 Email From GMS Associate Provost (to Students & Faculty)
To: GMS Faculty and Students
From: Debbie Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD, interim Associate Provost and GMS Associate Dean
Date: April 8, 2020
RE: Resources available to GMS graduate students
We recognize that as this pandemic continues to disrupt our social, economic and family fabric, there is increasing anxiety among our students about fundamental needs of food, housing and healthcare. We have compiled a list of existing and newly available resources provided by the University and GMS in an effort to help students navigate these challenges. We look forward to the time when this passes and we are together again in shared pursuit of our academic, research and clinical missions. In the meantime, these resources may be of use.
BU Emergency Funds
There is a limited supply of emergency funds available to all BU students. Emergency aid for extenuating circumstances is available to those who experience temporary financial hardship related to travel, technology and other expenses that are directly related to change in remote learning. Students can apply for funding at the SFS web site for COVID-19 & Financial Aid.
- All PhD students will continue to receive their stipends.
- Work/Study Opportunities
There are funded work/study opportunities available to students through Student Financial Services. These are need-based and students will need to complete a FAFSA, if not already done. These are typically a wide range of jobs available for students both on and off campus. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call at 617-358-6550 for information about employment opportunities.
- More info about working is available on the Student Employment page.
- Governor Baker has identified a number of emergency childcare centers across the state that are open for essential workers.
- The YMCA of Greater Boston is open for emergency care on a drop-in basis for children of essential workers. Information can be found at https://ymcaboston.org/emergency-care.
- BU Resources
- GMS’ Making Ends Meet site lists local grocery stores with locations and pricing categories. The GMS Community Cupboard has a stocked cupboard of non-perishable foods and personal hygiene supplies (sorry, no toilet paper) in L-306: Open M-F upon request to email@example.com
- For graduate students remaining on or close to CRC campus: the Terrier Meal Share program offers meal assistance. Students can apply at http://www.bu.edu/dos/terrier-meal-share/terrier-meal-share-assistance-request/.
- Sargent Choice Nutrition Center offers a number of virtual expert consultations for meal planning that can help people with food intolerances or restrictions, athletes in training, and people who are looking to create healthier eating habits. Students may qualify for a limited number of free consultations, and insurance may cover the cost of others. They also have free recipes and videos.
- Local & Community Resources
- Brookline Food Pantry offers pantry hours at two locations: 55A Egmont St. and 15 St. Paul St. The pantry is open for emergency food services.
- Good and Cheap is a free, downloadable cookbook with recipes aimed at helping people prepare great meals on $4/day.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If a student’s food insecurity is persistent, they may consider seeing if they qualify for SNAP benefits.
Health Insurance Coverage
- For graduate and professional students on BU’s SHIP plan: COVID-19 medical care is covered through BU Health Insurance. See https://www.bu.edu/shs/coronavirus/ for more information and links to AETNA.
- For graduate and professional students not on BU SHIP: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has released health insurance information and guidance for its residents.
- Student Financial Services & Housing Resources on the medical campus provides assistance and guidance with landlord issues, guidance on understanding your lease and information about area realtors and neighborhoods (OHR@bu.edu)
- For graduate and professional students living in BU Real Estate apartments or residence halls: students may be able to break their lease early without penalty. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students may consult the Off-Campus Student Services website, which has a number of discounted, short-term sublets available.
- There are a number of COVID-19 housing scams; please be sure to be vigilant.
Student Loan Payments
- On March 13, President Trump announced that interest would be waived on all federally-held student loans. On March 20, Trump announced that student loan payments may be suspended without becoming delinquent by requesting an administrative forbearance, lasting at least 60 days from March 13. Information can be found at https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus