Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Record Update First

Web site highlights programs that help U-M community during economic downturn

In recognition that members of the campus community may need extra help in these tough economic times, a number of programs and resources have been established in recent months.

Information on these and several existing resources helpful to faculty, staff and students facing financial hardship can now be found together on a new Web site.

From an Emergency Hardship Program that provides assistance for staff and faculty members and various student emergency funds, to foreclosure assistance from legal experts and numerous job search services, U-M is leveraging its top experts to provide resources that can help members of the community weather the economic crisis.

Information available on the site, www.vpcomm.umich.edu/pa/key/financial3.html, focuses on financial aid, services for non-traditional students, retirement investing and career development.

Programs include:

• Emergency Hardship Program: Based on need and eligibility, this program provides assistance for staff and faculty members who are experiencing a severe and temporary financial crisis.

• Office of Financial Aid, special outreach to students: This program reaches out to families of students who may be facing severe financial problems due to job loss, foreclosure or business declines.

• UM-Dearborn special emergency fund: UM-Dearborn has set aside $300,000 to address the needs of students whose families may have experienced job losses or other problems as a result of the current economic conditions.

• Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Fund: This fund is intended to help meet the financial needs of Rackham graduate students who encounter an emergency situation or one-time, unusual or unforeseen expenses during their degree program.

• Center for the Education of Women grants: CEW offers graduate students and nontraditional undergraduates (older or raising a child) enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus small emergency grants to help with unexpected financial crises.

• The Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Program: This program is a project of the Michigan Poverty Law Program, a cooperative effort of Legal Services of South Central Michigan and the Law School. It provides comprehensive and coordinated foreclosure prevention advocacy throughout the state.

• Retirement investing seminars: Human Resources offers a number of seminars on campus by TIAA-CREF and Fidelity on strategies for retirement investing during the economic downturn.

• Career Center: The center has many programs to help students find internships and jobs during the soft job market and also has developed an e-newsletter, Cool Market, Hot Tips.

• Alumni Association: A new Alumni Association Web page focuses on the benefits that alumni need most now. These include job postings, career counseling, career-focused podcasts, short-term health benefits, and other savings and discounts. The association also is offering free, one-year memberships for unemployed alumni.

Ongoing services include:

• Faculty and Staff Assistance Program: FASAP offers free, confidential services to help staff, faculty and their immediate family members with personal difficulties encountered at work and home.

• Career Development Services: This program directs students to a variety of information, including career self-assessment, career planning information and resources, university resources and job search tools.

• Work/Life Resource Center: The programs and services exist to assist staff, faculty and students achieve work/life integration. The Work/Life Resource Center is a starting point for people as they begin to investigate resources for elder care, child care, and other tools for work/life balance, such as flexible scheduling and child care leaves of absence.