How EY is helping underserved college students to persist during COVID-19

The Ernst & Young Foundation and College MAP teams are providing just-in-time grants for underserved college students impacted by COVID-19.

COVID-19 has affected the world as we know it, bringing normal, everyday occurrences to a standstill — not the least of which is education. Closed campuses and canceled summer jobs are causing significant financial disruption and stress for college students across the country.

Like Tamara, a low-income student at Texas Southern University. A student of immigrant parents, she overcame language and financial barriers to be the first in her family to start college and secure financial aid. She took the bold step of attending a university out of state — living on her own and supporting herself with a part-time job. All that changed with COVID-19. She lost the internship she’d lined up and had to use her savings for an emergency living situation when her school’s campus closed.

Tamara is just one of the 1,800 underserved students we’ve mentored as part of College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence), a high-impact, group-mentoring program with active sites in 36 US cities and counting. EY professionals mentor students to help them navigate the college admissions process, scholarships and financial aid and provide ongoing guidance for success while in college.

During the global health crisis, we’ve expanded our support to provide just-in-time grants that support learning continuity for our College MAP Collegians. Through the College MAP Just-in-Time Grant Fund, College MAP Collegians who are currently pursuing a university degree can receive financial support for emergency situations and unexpected needs. The grants cover a variety of unexpected expenses like online learning materials, travel and moving costs — even groceries and other essentials.

Ashanti studies at Grand Rapids Community College. Her learning has moved online, but after losing her part-time job, she wasn’t able to afford the required at-home learning resources like a printer and office software applications and programs. With her grant, she’s getting the tools she needs to persist in college.

In less than a month, the Ernst & Young Foundation has provided more than $133,700 in emergency grants to more than 160 Collegians experiencing financial distress due to COVID-19.

These students aren’t just getting the necessities; they’re getting financial continuity that will help build a better future for them and their families.

There is some good news during this crisis: while there are many people in need of help, there are also many people committed to providing it. This situation has really brought our values and purpose of building a better working world to life, and it has shown our culture of compassion and teaming.

Learn more about the College MAP program.

EY is committed to combating systemic racism in education

We support underserved students through private-sector mentoring, charitable grants, and working with the private and public sectors to bridge the digital learning divide. Together, we can reduce educational inequalities.


The College MAP Just in Time Grant Fund allows College MAP Collegians (who are currently pursuing a university degree) to receive financial support for emergency situations and unexpected needs.

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