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Free or reduced services for students adapting to life amid COVID-19

Many businesses in the country have taken into account the number of jobs that have been lost within the past couple weeks due to the quick spread of COVID-19 and have begun offering their usual services at discounted rates. Big name companies have been willing to cut back and take into account the people of America and where they stand during the sudden and rapidly evolving pandemic.

A large number of college students have been told to move out of dorms suddenly and abruptly, leaving many forced to quickly pack their belongings and travel  home. Moving companies have since opened their doors to those who might be needing a place to store their dorm-room items for the time being. U-Haul is currently offering 30 days of free storage for those needing a space to store their belongings as they quickly move locations.

Car rental service Enterprise  has revised its age policy, lowering the minimum age to rent a car to 18 to help students who need to go home and may not have transportation of their own. Book services like Pearson and ProQuest are also allowing students and libraries free and unlimited access to a wide variety of e-books.

Second-year University of North Texas psychology student Lymuel Maningo has been able to take advantage of the benefits being given to students during this time of economic slope. 

“I’m signed up for Pearson and haven’t really used the service in a while because of the cost,” Maningo said. “But when I got the email about Pearson giving free access to ebooks, I thought that that was really generous and helpful of them to do, especially during this time.”

 Students, however, are not the only ones that can benefit from the reduction of business prices. Food delivery services DoorDash and UberEats have waived commission fees for the time being, resulting in lower costs for delivery. Meanwhile, Sprint, AT&T, Charter, Verizon, T-Mobile and Cricket made an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission to keep customers connected to the internet for 60-days, whether they are able to pay for the service or not.

The fast-growing pandemic has also been one of the factors for the lowered gas prices of many fuel stations, bringing the gas prices in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to 1.575, and 1.728 in Houston. 

Despite the shutdown of many buildings and businesses, there are still a number of companies accepting new employees, which can be especially helpful for those who have lost their jobs. Some companies include Whole Foods, Walmart, Walgreens, Amazon and 7-Eleven.

Labor market jobs have not only remained open, but have also been in high demand as their need for employees have recently skyrocketed to meet consumers’ increased demand for resources.

Texas Woman’s University English major Joshua Campbell has heard of the many reduced services and said he is appreciative of companies that have gone out of their way to help people.

“I think this crisis requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ kind of mentality,” Campbell said.  “Any business giving individuals who have been negatively impacted by pandemic help in any way is a business worth supporting now, and even when the crisis ends.” 

In addition to affordable services, many organizations and corporations are also donating and giving back to coronavirus research operations, giving food and financial relief and are giving employees paid time off.

Remember to frequently check emails, search the internet and keep in touch with local businesses in order not to miss out on any benefits that might be helpful to you. 

For information on the coronavirus and how to stay protected, visit

Gakenia Njenga can be reached via email at

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