Emergency Funds

George stands tall over the University Yard

The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) is committed to assisting George Washington University (GW) students and families in need who have exhausted all other resources. Your gift can help!

The Ronald W. Howard Student Assistance Fund

Former admissions staff member Ron Howard was a beloved member of the GW family. His generosity and selfless acts of kindness showed his love for this university and its thousands of students. In 1997, friends established the Ronald W. Howard Student Assistance Fund in honor of Ron and his legacy at GW. The fund has helped over 250 undergraduate students at the university.

Whether providing a ticket home to see a dying parent, a warm coat during a harsh winter, or those last few textbooks, the fund offers financial assistance to undergraduates who incur unexpected expenses that they cannot cover. A permanent endowment to continue Ron's tradition of helping GW students, the fund is a wonderful tribute that memorializes Ron's long and dedicated service to GW.

Your support is more than just a financial contribution—it is an affirmation of Ron's legacy and your support of GW students. For example:

  • After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a CCAS ’13 student used his award for an intensive treatment program. “Receiving a grant from the Ron Howard Student Assistance Fund meant that there were still people out there who believed I had the potential to make a positive impact on my community and in the lives of others,” he said.
  • Time was of the essence for an ESIA ’12 student, upon learning that her father would undergo quadruple bypass surgery.  When she needed to fly home, she turned to the fund for help. “Without it, I would have never been able to be with my father,” she said.
  • A SEAS ’13 student was severely injured playing rugby and needed surgery, but timing couldn’t have been worse. Insurance didn’t cover the full cost of surgery and his parents were going through bankruptcy. The fund helped the family pay medical bills so they could cover his tuition, ensuring that the student could continue his education.

The Rodney L. Johnson Parents Helping Parents Fund

The Rodney L. Johnson Parents Helping Parents Fund—an initiative designed for, and made possible by parents—is an emergency fund that enables DSA to provide nominal financial assistance to help GW families support their student. The fund was established to honor Mr. Johnson’s 30 years of service at the George Washington University and his work in establishing the Office of Parent Services, which was among the first offices of its kind in the country. Mr. Johnson was a dedicated advocate for GW students and parents during his tenure at GW. The Office of Parent Services is now the Office of Student Support and Family Engagement.

GW sometimes receives requests from families who need a little extra support, for example, to pay for a hotel or airfare for an unanticipated, last minute trip to D.C. to be with a child suffering from a health emergency. Some parents need help covering registration or lodging costs in order to participate in campus events with their child or need help to attend Commencement. Your gift can help.

The Parents Helping Parents Fund was borne from the notion that parents have an interest and obligation in supporting each other. GW has a strong community of parents and families who understand the critical role they play in supporting the academic, social, and personal success of GW students. The fund leverages that strength to provide financial assistance that can make a real difference in the GW experience for both students and families.