College fund helps students in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic

St Mark’s College has established a Student Support Fund to support resident students whose financial circumstances have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the pandemic, many students have lost casual employment on which they depended to pay their College fees, and many parents of students have also lost their jobs or had incomes slashed.

Students already in receipt of this help have warmly expressed their deep gratitude, and that of their families, for this support. Many have said that it enables them to stay in College, and to continue with their studies, when all this was at risk, and is helping them cope through the stress and uncertainty of this time.

Following the decision by the College Board to create the Student Support Fund to meet this urgent need, students whose financial circumstances were significantly adversely affected by the pandemic were invited to apply for help from the Fund with their College fees, and to provide detailed information on their financial position.

Allocations have been made after careful assessment of this information.

As well as expressing gratitude for the support they have already received, students have committed to community service within the College and in the wider community – a tangible expression of their gratitude and commitment to “give back”.

The College has also enabled students who choose to return home for this period to do so without financial cost to them. Over half of the College’s students are continuing in College, and nearly half have chosen to go home during the pandemic. The College is maintaining strict social distancing and hygiene requirements to combat the pandemic.

The College will soon embark on a fundraising campaign to seek support from Old Collegians and friends of the College to fund this support for students – alongside scholarships and bursaries to enable students from diverse backgrounds to live and learn at St Mark’s over years to come.

Upon hearing of the College’s creation of the Student Support Fund, one Old Collegian and her partner immediately donated $5,000 towards the $240,000 Fund, for which our heartfelt thanks.

Donations (which are fully tax deductible) can be made through the Giving page on the College website here.

Are you able to help?

The College and all the students who are helped will be deeply grateful for your generous support.

Some of the many testimonies from students already supported by the COVID-19 Pandemic Student Support Fund include these expressions of thanks:

“…my family and I have been significantly affected by the current pandemic, on top of what was already difficult times for us over the past few years. The support provided by this fund will allow me to remain a contributing resident member of the College. I am very much looking forward to being able to continue here and play my part in allowing our community to remain a healthy, happy place to belong, through our support of each other.”

“The scholarship has removed an immense amount of stress from my daily life. It has enabled me to re-book the medical appointments I had postponed and or cancelled completely. This has now also improved my mental health. It has been the difference between living in Adelaide and continuing my studies or deferring and moving back to [regional South Australia].”

“Thank you is all I can say. … it is unbelievably heartening and humbling that the institution that I gratefully call home has my back when I most need it. I love living within our community, and because of this fund I have been given the opportunity to contribute to it for the coming uncertain months. I have seldom been more grateful.”

“I am so very thankful for this at this point in time following my Dad not having his contract renewed. It truly has taken a huge amount of financial burden off my family’s shoulders, and we are so grateful for this. Residing at St Mark’s during this difficult time has also been absolutely brilliant. The support that the college is willing to give and how the college has been keeping us all updated with the situation has been fantastic. It really is like a big family away from home, and that is something that at this particular time I have really cherished and appreciated.”

“This support will significantly aid in releasing the constant financial pressure on my family as we are unable to provide a regular income to pay for college fees. Most importantly, this financial aid will allow me to focus on putting more time and effort into my university studies and encourage me to participate more in the St Mark’s community so that I get the most out of my time here.”

“I would like to express my many thanks for the support the college are offering me financially and in other ways during these crazy times! The allocated funds will enable me to continue studying while residing at college. This will alleviate the stress and pressure that is placed on me during these times. “

“I would like to write to thank you for the financial support that you have extended to me following my application. It means a great deal to be supported without judgement in such uncertain times as we are experiencing now. From my first week at College, I felt welcomed and at home. I was constantly amazed with the amount of encouragement from the staff, senior collegians and the other first years. I feel that at St Mark’s, I am in an environment that I can thrive and focus all my time on my studies and achieve the very best that I am capable of.”

“… it is lovely to know that I can still call Mark’s home until the end of this year from the generosity of the fund.”

“In January I also started a new casual job, working a few days a week to contribute to college fees. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, I no longer receive shifts there which has substantially affected my income. I greatly appreciate this financial assistance as it allows me to push on with my studies and enjoy my final year of college and university.”

“This is my third year at St Mark’s College, and it would be an understatement to say that I have cherished every moment and experience that I have had while residing here. Not only has this amazing place been supportive of me through my studies, but it has also helped me develop into a positive, social and confident individual and I do not believe I ever would have been able to come this far if it wasn’t for St Mark’s. The importance of receiving such assistance with my college fees means that I am able to continue these developments and have many more experiences that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. After having work cancelled indefinitely due to the pandemic, I was very worried about how I would be able to earn money to put towards college and necessities. I really appreciate having this opportunity because it means I can continue paying off my fees without having to cause financial stress on my family. I am also now able to put more focus back on to my studies knowing that I have support to help me get through the rest of the year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Such a generous support fund will go a long way to help me staying in Adelaide despite losing a considerable amount of my income… I cannot thank you and the College enough for all of the support you have given me over the years. I have worked incredibly hard to pay my own way since leaving home but I would not be where I am today or the person I am today without the college’s support not only financially but in so many other ways as well.”

Other details of the College’s response to the pandemic can be found on the News pages of this website.

You can support our students now through the Giving page. THANK YOU for your generosity to students in need!