CARES Act to provide relief to students

Thursday, 30 Apr, 2020

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced that the U.S. Department of Education distributed $213.1 million in funding to institutions of higher education in Colorado as part of the COVID-19 response.

Students who received additional assistance from the university can apply for emergency financial assistance grants.

The CARES Act awarded LSC almost $28 million.

The fund provides aid to students in the form of cash grants. This includes expenses that fall under a student's cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. Almost all of the funds will be distributed automatically to eligible undergraduate and graduate students based on need and enrollment status. Under the guidelines from the federal government, any student who has filed FASFA is eligible for funds, as well as students who have not filed but are eligible to file. "We want students to know we are here for them and we will all get through this together". The Financial Aid Early Decision application runs through May 4. $14 million is to be given to eligible students impacted by COVID-19 with the other $14 million used to cover lost revenues or expenses.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, created an Educational Stabilization Fund to support K-12 schools and higher education institutions around the country facing economic hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students who are not eligible for funding include students who aren't US citizens or permanent residents, those not enrolled in a degree or certificate program, and those enrolled only in online classes at the start of the 2020 semester. "Now with the pandemic the situation has just gotten so much worse", Banerjee said.

"Stanford released a statement to their benefit on Twitter and also on their website saying that they would commit to financial aid for students that were covered under [the $3.6 million allocation], but it's kind of iffy and vague as to how they're going to be precisely allocating those funds", Vinci said.

"It was clearly not a flawless system", Banerjee said. "Clearly implementation has been a big problem". BU is now behind several other SUNYs in terms of funding received, with University at Albany receiving $16 million, despite having fewer students. "These funds will allow students to continue their education".

"It's important to recognize the universities are also under a lot of stress", Banerjee said. Universities converted all in-person classes to online instruction after spring break.