CAS Cares Fund




Emergency student support for overcoming obstacles to graduation

Recognizing that every student in the College of Arts and Sciences has a unique set of circumstances guiding and contributing to their educational experience, the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Cares Fund has been established to help those students through challenges that might inhibit their ability to complete their education.

Why do students leave college before they graduate? Sometimes it's not about academics, but economics. Medical bills, a car repair, a flight back home for a funeral—even losing a job due to COVID-19.

But if the events that can knock students off their trajectory toward graduation can appear small, so is what it takes to help get them back on track. $100 for groceries. One month of rent. Something to cover that last little bit of tuition.

A universitywide emergency fund gave away $77,000 this May—every dime it had at the time—and the average amount per student was less than $500.

To help supplement that fund, we have set up the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Cares Fund, administered through the dean’s office, to reach students in need in its 58 departments and programs. Dean Mark Button is determined to increase retention and graduation rates for all students, and this new fund plays a key part.

Too many students fail to graduate, and that number is disproportionately higher among low-income, minority and first-generation students. Many students simply don’t have a safety net when something goes wrong and have no other option but to stop their education—sometimes permanently.

But just as the cost of dropping out of college is high, leaving students with debt and no degree, a small investment in keeping students on the path toward graduation pays enormous dividend— for them and for the state of Nebraska.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented number of students in a precarious position. College students have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic—often working high-contact jobs in retail, restaurants and other businesses that have had to close or drastically reduce their hours.

This fund will address not only the urgent and immediate needs created by the upheaval from the pandemic but will remain in place permanently to help address the larger, ongoing issue of student retention and degree completion.

Thank you for considering a gift to the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Cares Fund to help students in need. Your generosity will provide timely and urgently needed support to help students make it to the graduation finish line.

Support the CAS Cares Fund

Students—learn more and apply here.  CAS Cares