Community Impact | April 20, 2021

Uplifting Local Students

In 2020, as college campuses shut down, the pandemic threatened to derail students from completing their degrees. For those students whose financial situations were especially tenuous, the risk was even greater. Because UFCU believes a college degree can be a key to long-term financial health, we stepped up to support these students’ dreams.

Most college campuses are prepared for the usual student financial emergency costs like car repairs, book fees, utility and food bills, and other essential expenses. But as student financial need increased during the pandemic due to lost income or housing expenses, so did the demand on college student emergency funds. In response, UFCU and its employees pitched in at the height of the pandemic last spring to support schools and students in a way that effects real change in their lives.

We support our higher education partners so they can do what they do best: propel hopeful students into a world of greater opportunity.

  • UFCU and its employees contributed a total of $140,000 to student emergency funds at Austin Community College, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward’s University, Texas State University, The University of Texas, and Dell Medical School.
  • To support Black students who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, UFCU made an additional unrestricted grant of $20,000 to our long-time partner and Austin’s only historically Black university, Huston-Tillotson University. This donation and donations to the Austin Area Urban League and the African American Credit Union Coalition helped support our Black Members and provide assistance to our partners who serve the Black community.
  • UFCU and its employees also contributed $7,000 to the E3 Alliance’s Student Emergency Fund, specifically targeting first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students.
  • Knowing that paid internships provide not just professional experience but income as well, UFCU was committed to maintaining our internship program. In 2020, we transitioned our in-person internship experience into a virtual one and hired 14 interns. Each of them earned about $3,750 across ten weeks to cover school costs, housing expenses, or emergency savings. Being responsive to student needs helped them get valuable hands-on learning in their field of study and progress toward meeting graduation requirements.
  • Scholarships are another vital source of income for a student’s college journey. That’s why UFCU employees were pleased to pitch in and support the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, which leverages community resources to provide scholarships to Central Texas Hispanic students and offers a network of support that mentors and empowers scholars to graduate from college. In 2020, 15 UFCU employee volunteers reviewed 285 scholarship applications collectively, enabling many Hispanic students to maintain their progress toward college with scholarships that ranged from $1,000–$5,000.

UFCU was founded by staff at The University of Texas at Austin over 84 years ago, and because of that history, the education community is extra special to us. Especially now, we support our higher education partners so they can do what they do best: propel hopeful students into a world of greater opportunity.