Students who met the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) requirements were eligible to receive a $700 emergency grant.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provided SRU with funds to students with a grant to cover certain expenses, like any outstanding bills for food, housing, course materials, technology needs, healthcare or child care.
Students received an email from the SRU Financial Aid Office on Jan. 25 making them aware that they are eligible for the emergency funding. Eligible students should have received this money through direct deposit or live check to their permanent home address.
About 3,600 students were issued the $700 payment based on their financial need. Over $2.5 million in funds were provided to the student body as direct payments.
The university has over $1 million remaining for students to apply as of Thursday. Over 1,150 students have received checks from this application process so far, according to Amanda Yale, the SRU chief enrollment management officer.
Students must be enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester to receive the funds. SRU will collect and review applications until there are no additional funds remaining. Yale encourages students to apply through the online application.
“It’s an easy application [process], it’s not very difficult,” Yale said. “Students really just need to say how this experience has created challenges for them. So, the kinds of things we hear from students [are], ‘My mom or dad lost their job or they’re cutting hours, and I’m not able to get a job.'”
Yale explained that there are many reasons why the university cannot give students money, though. These include wanting to build their savings account and wanting to save up to pay back loans when they graduate.
“We can’t do it for that,” Yale said. “But we do go back [to those applicants] and connect with the students to say, ‘Can you connect this more to COVID so we can actually administer the monies.'”
Students also received a similar grant in May 2020 for $500. These funds were distributed to eligible students because of the break in instruction they experienced and shift to online learning, according to an email to those students.
Students that were only enrolled in online courses prior to the pandemic did not receive this grant during the first distribution.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and was signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2020. The CRRSAA authorized over $81 billion in support of education in addition to the $30 billion former Secretary DeVos provided last spring through the CARES Act, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.
Passed by President Donald Trump in March 2020, the CARES Act economic stimulus bill distributed $2.2 trillion to provide relief to those negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With questions or concerns, students can contact the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org.