Wright State University has started distributing more than $5 million in emergency grants to students financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal money is part of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
“We believe this effort will provide some financial relief to a broad range of spring 2020 students who experienced disruption as a result of COVID-19,” said Kim Everhart, the university’s director of financial aid.
About $4.8 million will be automatically distributed to the 5,700 students who were enrolled at WSU this spring. The university will provide an additional $250,000, which also came from the CARES Act, to supplement private donations and fundraising events held to benefit the Wright State University Foundation’s Student Emergency Relief Fund. The school raised more than $72,000 in donations for the relief fund, university officials said.
Students will not be required to use the money for debt they owe to the university, Everhart said. Instead they are encouraged to use it for such things as food, housing, medications, toiletries, course materials and technology, she said.
“We wanted to provide support to as many students as possible,” Everhart said.” We know that students are being asked to start their education remotely during the spring semester and that could bring challenges to them.”
Those who are eligible include undergraduate, graduate, School of Professional Psychology and Boonshoft School of Medicine students. They can receive up to $1,000, based on need, Everhart said, noting that the university used a tiered approach. Wright State officials will determine students’ need based on information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, that they filed at the beginning of the academic year. The form calculates what’s called an expected family contribution.
Students must also meet these requirements to be eligible for a portion of the aid:
• Degree seeking.
• Continued enrollment for the spring 2020 semester.
• Enrolled in one or more face-to face courses that was converted to remote instruction after March 13.
• Title IV eligible — the student filed a FAFSA and completed all outstanding requirements to receive federal financial aid prior to May 1, and met satisfactory academic progress standards.
International students, including undocumented and DACA students, are not eligible for the grants, the university said. Students who were enrolled in courses exclusively taught remote or online on or before March 13 also are ineligible.
Eligible students will receive their money by check or direct deposit if they have it set up with the university, Everhart said.
The university started issuing the money on Monday and is expected to wrap up by May 22. Those who do not receive their grant by that date are encouraged to apply for the Student Emergency Relief Fund at www.wright.edu/StudentRelief.
Students who have questions about the application process for the Emergency Relief Fund should contact Destinee Biesemeyer, associate director for student advocacy and wellness, at email@example.com.
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