MataCare Grant aids students with financial emergency

CSUN students pictured lining up at the financial aid office
CSUN financial aid office. File Photo: The Sundial

Students in need of an emergency source of funding can now apply for the MataCare Grant through the financial aid office.

The MataCare Grant was designed to help students who have exhausted all financial aid options, manage a one-time emergency expenditure such as medical care, child care, transportation or housing.

“We are pleased to add this resource to the CSUN Food Pantry as a further effort to address conditions that can have a negative impact on student well-being and degree completion,” said Dr. Watkins, vice president for Student Affairs, in an email to colleagues.

According to Watkins, the grant was established through the contributions of alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university.

Eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time and be in good academic standing in order to be considered. Applications are available through the financial aid website and must be submitted in person at Bayramian Hall.

The grant is a result of a collaborative effort between AS, the Alumni Association, and financial aid that began last fall.

The group developed the MataCare Grant from the initial concept all the way through to its implementation and was ready to start accepting applications at the start of spring semester.

The applications are reviewed by a committee made up of faculty, students and staff that meets weekly to review applications.

Associated Students Vice President Kenya Lopez, said that during the process of drafting the legislative order, she kept in mind the experiences of students around her who were facing the decision to drop out of CSUN in order to manage a financial emergency.

The grant ensures that students who are otherwise on a path to graduation do not derail their plans because of unexpected financial situations.

Lopez stresses that it is not meant to replace or supplement existing financial aid options, such as Pell grant and student loans.

Students who face ongoing financial challenges are encouraged to meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss more permanent solutions.