We know how easy it is to feel lost while transitioning into this new “normal”. Luckily, there are a bunch of companies and services here to help. Below is a list of the ones that we’ve found so far, and we will continue to update our list as we come across more opportunities for you to take advantage of.
With almost all aspects of social life moving online, internet service providers and a few major software companies are offering their goods and services at discounted rates, or in some cases, completely free for a period of time, often 30 to 60 days.
Similarly, storage and moving services are doing what they can to help keep everyone, and their stuff, safe during this tumultuous time. If you are in need of storage, internet, language learning services, or others, take a look below for a few free or discounted resources we’ve found that can help students stay engaged and safe. We will be updating this list as we find more.
- Adobe – Creative Cloud Suite – Free through May 31st
- Babble -Language learning app – Free to K-12 & college students in the US
- BOX Cloud storage – Free for 90 Days
- Zoom Video conferencing – 40 min limit removed for teachers & students with free tier
- Google Hangout – Free to Educational services through July 1st
- Charter SPECTRUM Internet – Free to first time K-12 & college households
- COMCAST Internet – Free internet service for 60 days to new households
- Enterprise Car Rental – Waiving younger driver rental fee through May 31st
- U-Haul Self Storage – Free 30 Days to first time student renters
Help with Anxiety
- Shine – A free toolkit with resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.
- 7 Science-based Strategies – Tips based on psychological studies that directly address fear and anxiety due to a global pandemic.
- 2-1-1 – A hotline provided by UnitedWay that provides assistance and information on local resources for mental health, financial struggles, and essential needs. Just dial 2-1-1 to connect with an expert.
- HealthyMinds – A free well-being app created using scientific research from UW.
For more information on available resources – https://www.forbes.com/sites/martingiles/2020/03/19/free-software-for-businesses-and-schools-covid19/#2d612da1752d
Even though things are stressful and uncertain, it is super important to make sure you are taking care of yourself, sleeping 8 hours a day, and eating healthy.
If you are at a point where you find yourself low on groceries, there are a number of resources available for you. Food banks all across the state are here to help keep you healthy and fed throughout this crazy time. Below is a list of resource databases and University food bank options to help you find options close to your home.
Students may visit the pantry once per week.
Tuesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Wednesday, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Thursday, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Schofield Hall, Room 4
105 Garfield Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701
On-site visits currently prohibited, but food offerings still available. Please click the link above for instructions.
If you have any questions, please contact advisor Stacie Christian by phone at 920-465-2167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Tuesday from 12:00-1:00PM, students can come to Union South near the hotel entrance off of Dayton Street to pick up prepackaged food boxes. These boxes are intended to assist those who need to supplement their food budget. Boxes should be requested here by Thursday for pickup the following Tuesday.
1308 W Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53715
Bag distribution every Thursday from 11:00am – 2:00pm. Instructions for bag pick-up can be found at the link above.
UW-Milwaukee Student Union
2200 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53211
The Cabinet Food Pantry has suspended services until further notice. For food pantry options near UW-Oshkosh, please see the Oshkosh Area United Way.
UW-Parkside does not currently have a food bank. For options in the Kenosha area, please see this document.
Tuesday, 3:00 – 6:00pm
Wednesday, 3:00 – 6:00pm
West Entrance of Glenview Commons
1255 Greenwood Ave
Platteville, WI 53818
Food will be provided pre-bagged by volunteers during normal operating hours:
Monday, 10:00am – 12:00pm and 6:30 – 8:00pm
Wednesday, 1:00 – 5:00pm
Thursday: ,6:30 – 8:00pm
Friday, 10:00am – 12:00pm
In-person visits are currently suspended. To request assistance, please email CASE@uwsp.edu or use the Online Request Form.
Also on Facebook
Available by appointment, contact the Dean of Students office at 715-232-1181
4th Floor Bowman Hall (behind the Zen Zone)
802 Broadway St S
Menomonie, WI 54751
Monday – Friday, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Located in the Yellowjacket Union
1605 Catlin Ave
Superior, WI 54880
Available by Appointment, contact Fabiola Aranda at 262-472-1757, or email@example.com.
Located in Drumlin Hall
1010 W Starin Rd
Whitewater, WI 53190
When you do have to leave home to get food, a good rule of thumb is to think that the virus is everywhere, on every surface and handle you touch. Bring sanitizing wipes with you, wipe down your cart handle, use the wipes to open freezer and refrigerator doors, and do not touch your face under any circumstances! Once you get home, wash your hands immediately and only unpack the items that you need right away. If you can, leave everything in a designated space for two or three days before putting it away – the virus can live on plastic and metal surfaces for up to three days, and on cardboard and paper for up to two days. After everything has been put away, make sure you wash your hands again and wipe down all surfaces in the kitchen that your groceries may have touched.
If you are falling behind on paying bills, credit card payments, or rent checks, it is important to remain calm yet proactive. You’ll get through this. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help keep your financial well being afloat.
As of March 27th, Gov. Tony Evers has temporarily ordered the suspension of evictions and foreclosures amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. This new order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason, unless the lack of an eviction puts others in danger. If you cannot currently pay rent, you do not need to be afraid of getting evicted! Similarly, if you are having trouble paying off loans or credit card debt, many lenders are allowing deferred payments with no additional interest. BUT, this does not mean you can just stop paying right away! The most important thing is communication. Call your landlord, call your bank, call your credit card company, and tell them that you are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic. They should be able to work with you to lay out all of the options given your unique situation.
Information on Financial Aid:
The Department of Federal Student Aid has created a list of commonly asked questions that relate to course credit, financial aid, and how to stay in touch with your campus throughout this period of shelter-in-place.
If my school moves classes online, am I going to get less financial aid?
If your school has moved classes to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid. If you have questions about the online format, contact your school.
Beginning March 13, 2020, all loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education will have interest waived for at least 60 days. This includes: Direct Loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans. Students do not need to do anything or fill out any forms for these loans as the Department of Education will automatically adjust your account so that interest doesn’t accrue.This does not include private student loans.
The Department of Education may extend the 60 day period depending on the status of the COVID-19 national emergency.
Please contact your loan service as soon as possible if you are having trouble making payments.
If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, contact your school. You can easily avoid the consequences of delinquency or default by staying in touch with your servicer or school.
To contact your loan servicer online or by phone:
If you do not know who your servicer is or how to contact them, visit StudentAid.gov/login or call us at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hearing-impaired 1-800-730-8913) for assistance.
You may request an administrative forbearance by contacting your loan servicer. Administrative forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. Interest will not accrue while you are in forbearance. Payments will resume once administrative forbearance ends. Again the Department of Education may extend that period depending on the status of the COVID-19 national emergency.
Each UW Campus along with UW System Administration has created a page dedicated to their specific campus community. Links to each website can be found below:
UW System Administration: https://www.wisconsin.edu/coronavirus/
Tips for Successful Online Learning
Make a Study Plan:
- Set goals
- Create a daily schedule
- Make blocks of time dedicated for class and for studying (and for breaks)
Rest Up and Take Breaks:
- Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can skip on sleep
- Give your mind time to decompress
Make a Dedicated Space for Studying:
- Designate a desk, table, or countertop specific to study time
- Find the supplies and resources you will need to keep focused
- Place your phone in airplane mode
- Limit your time on social media
- Turn off the television and the news
Engage in the Online Discussion:
- A solid network can make all the difference
- Participating will help you stay accountable and interested in what is going on
Stay Organized and Manage Your Time Wisely:
- Use a planner for tracking important deadlines (assignments and exams)
- Set reminders
Join or Set Up an Online Study Group:
- Working together will keep everyone on track
- Creates community and builds support
Follow your Professor’s Class Rules:
- As stated in UW System Policy, if a professor requests that you turn on your webcam and microphone during an exam, you must comply in order to receive class credit
Still nervous about online classes? Check out these seven tips that students wished they knew going into online learning!
Resources for Teachers
- Teach from Home – A temporary hub of information and tools to help teachers during the coronavirus crisis.
- NextGen Personal Finance – Tools to help teach personal finance (and to try for your own financial well-being!).
While it is important to stay focused on your classes and keep studying through this time, it is also essential to take breaks and have fun! Here are a few free resources we’ve found to keep entertained while you’re stuck at home.
- Dive into an extensive digital museum with Google Arts & Culture
- Check out free streams of high class opera every night from the Metropolitan Opera
- Explore America’s National Parks without having to change out of your PJ’s
- Chill out before bed with a bedtime story from Dolly Parton
- More to be added!
If you need to get in touch with your campus, please visit the UW HELP Campus Contacts page.
If you know of any other resources that you think would be beneficial, please send details to Steven Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.