COVID-19 Update: Aid Opportunities for Students in Need
Feb. 18, 2021
Many of us have read about the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) — the federal stimulus package prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic — and the aid that the fund provided to higher education institutions such as ours last year.
We expect to soon receive a new round of CARES ACT HEERF funding, allowing us to provide an additional $2.5 million to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.
More specifically, the CARES Act instructs universities like ours to direct the aid to help current undergraduate and graduate students who require:
- Immediate, need-based grants: These $400-$800 grants will automatically be distributed to those students who have received a federal Pell grant during the
spring 2021 term. The grant amount will be awarded on a sliding scale based on the
family’s Expected Family Contribution and a student’s enrollment status (part-time
We expect about 2,500 SLU students will be awarded these grants, and that this money will be distributed in the coming weeks to students’ MySLU accounts. Because these grants are automatic, there is no further action required by those students or their families.
- Unexpected expenses grants: We know many students face unexpected costs. The CARES Act encourages us to help
students who have incurred a range of different expenses, including (but not limited
- Housing and moving expenses (e.g. rent, storage)
- Technology (e.g. internet, routers, computers, cameras, software)
- Transportation (e.g. unexpected travel costs)
- Child care
- Medical expenses
- Increased utility costs
The maximum award for unexpected expenses will be $800. Students can apply for an unexpected expenses grant by completing the COVID-19 Relief Request Application. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We expect to process funding decisions within 10 days after receiving an application. Please note that in some cases, additional documentation may be required, which could extend our response time.
Additional relief funding
If you do not meet the qualifications for the federal aid, there may be other emergency funding or institutional aid available to help you. We will filter every application through every option available to best meet as much need as possible.
Please be sure you have a bank account set up for electronic refunds transfer through your MySLU payment suite. An electronic award of your grant will arrive much quicker than waiting for a check to be processed and mailed.
It is also important to note that this aid could impact your taxable income, and that it may be reported to the IRS. Please consult with your tax advisor with additional questions.
We hope this is useful information for you, our students and families in need. The pain this pandemic has caused our community cannot be understated. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know that we are here for you. We are OneSLU.
Kathleen B. Davis
Vice President for Enrollment & Retention Management