UNF raises $700,000 for COVID-19 student aid
The University of North Florida approves a plan for return to class amid coronavirus. Image via Floridapolitics.com.

Some students have been unable to return home during the pandemic.

The University of North Florida in Jacksonville is providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief to students in limbo from coronavirus-related shutdowns and campus closures.

UNF raised $700,000 for students financially impacted by the pandemic, according to the school. The UNF Student Emergency Relief Fund was established in March after classes were forced online.

Many students have been unable to return to their homes outside of Northeast Florida or have lost jobs and income and are strapped with bills they can’t pay, including tuition.

“The pledge of financial support by so many members of our university community is a true testament to the heart of UNF,” UNF President David Szymanski said. “The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating economic impact on many of our students and these funds and scholarships will provide the critical financial support to those who need it most.”

Szymanski agreed to take a 15% salary reduction and his office has reduced operating expenses by 65% to help provide scholarship funding.

UNF Foundation Board members Anne and Robert Lufrano kicked in another $50,000 to match future gifts.

“Recognizing that this is a very challenging time for many, we are so appreciative of President Szymanski’s leadership in spearheading this effort and the participation of my fellow board members to secure the most funding and financial assistance possible to help UNF students,” said UNF Board of Trustees Chair Kevin Hyde.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected]


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