Students Matter Most

Student working in lab.

The GameAbove "Students Matter Most" initiative was created thanks to a $1.5 million pledge from GameAbove to invest in initiatives to support the success of EMU students, such as:

  • Student persistence/retention programs
  • Student support services
  • Learning clubs
  • Intramural sports
  • Increasing affordability for EMU students to attend EMU
  • Student government and student organization priorities
  • Solutions for student homelessness and housing insecurity, among other near-term needs
  • Other similar initiatives

See below to learn more about previous initiatives that were funded by GameAbove’s Students Matter Most program.

Previous Students Matter Most initiatives

Thanks to the generous support of GameAbove, the Students Matter Most program has already supported numerous initiatives to support the success of EMU students, some of which are highlighted below:

GameAbove Student Emergency Fund

The Student Emergency Fund (SEF) assists EMU students by providing financial grants to help address a student’s unexpected emergency needs, such as car repairs, medical expenses, or rent. Grants from this fund cannot be used for tuition or fees, and a student is limited to one emergency grant per year. Over the last several years, GameAbove, EMU Student Government, and countless other donors have donated more than $400,000 to support the SEF.

Students may apply for an emergency grant online.

Swoop’s Pantry Expansion

The Swoop’s Food Pantry was launched as a student project to help students facing food insecurity. Located in the John & Angie Sabo Room in Pierce Hall, the program has since grown to become a vibrant part of the EMU community. During the 2022-2023 academic year, the Pantry provided 112,963 pounds of food to 7,838 shoppers. To accommodate the growth of the Pantry, the GameAbove Students Matter Most Fund provided $130,000 to renovate and expand the pantry’s facilities and services in 2023.

GameAbove Next-Gen Scholarship

The GameAbove Next-Gen Scholarship provides scholarship assistance for current EMU students who have applied through EMU Financial Aid for other assistance and who agree to enroll in an EMU student persistence program. Learn more here about this exciting opportunity.

Student Affairs Case Manager

GameAbove generously funded a Case Manager position in the Office of the Dean of Students. During the 2021-2022 academic year, the Case Manager helped nearly 200 EMU students navigate a variety of personal or academic challenges. EMU’s Case Manager received the NASPA Region IV-E Outstanding New Professional award in 2021.

Textbook Affordability Initiative

Along with EMU Student Government, GameAbove has generously funded EMU’s Textbook Affordability Initiative, which provides free open source electronic textbooks to EMU students in a variety of courses. The initiative has assembled a repository of more than 2,000 e-books that are available in hundreds of course sections each semester.

COVID support projects

During the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, GameAbove provided vital funding to help EMU’s Engage Office make masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment – supplies that were badly needed at that time. Game Above also provided funding to support EMU’s YPSI LIVE initiative to provide free internet service and computers to families with children enrolled in the Ypsilanti Community Schools during the early days of the pandemic when K-12 instruction suddenly shifted to fully online format.