Dixie State University students still have the chance to apply for funding awarded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Almost half of the funding was awarded to students who applied during the summer semester. Graphic by Emily Wight.
Dixie State University encourages students to apply for CARES act funding to assist in pandemic struggles.
Congress passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, which is a grant given to eligible students through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to relieve students’ financial burdens from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the U.S Department of Education website, the CARES Act was signed by the Trump administration and Congress March 27, allotting $2.2 trillion to provide fast and direct economic aid to those affected by the pandemic.
Each university in the country has received different amounts to go towards their relief funds. DSU received $3 million and almost $1.2 million of it was given to students who applied for the summer term. The remaining funds are expected to be disbursed in the fall, said JD Robertson, executive director of financial aid and scholarships.
Students who applied previously for the summer semester will need to re-apply for the fall semester.
The grant does not go toward any specific expenses in regards to education, but it’s available to aid and assist in hardships that greatly affect students and their ability to continue their education. It is completely under the discretion of the student to choose whether they use the funds for education or personal expenses such as rent, groceries, bills etc.
William Haywood, a senior digital film major from Detroit, had applied over the summer, but did not receive the grant due to ineligibility; however, he plans reapply in the fall and to use his funds for rent and bills, rather than books and tuition.
“I have been trying to survive off of my savings; this would help out a lot,” Haywood said.
To be considered for eligibility, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid 2020-2021 application, must be enrolled in at least six credits, and working to achieve an associates, bachelor’s or master’s degree.
The financial aid office sent an email to eligible students at the beginning of August notifying them of the available grant. In the email, it asks for students to also pass the word along to any students who may be struggling, or is reconsidering returning to school in the fall because of financial restrictions.
Benjamin Swallow, a senior media studies major from St George, said he did receive information about the CARES act, but will not be applying for the grant.
“I don’t think I would be eligible to receive any money and even if I did, I would feel like it would be used better other places,” Swallow said.
The student portion of the the funding cannot not be applied directly through the U.S Department of education, it is the institution’s responsibility to determine distributions of the grant and how the amount each student is to receive is calculated.
Robertson said, “The maximum award in summer semester was $1,000; however, it is anticipated that fall semester award amounts will be lower due to a larger number of applicants.”
The highest awarded amount is still unknown because it depends on the number of fall applicants.
There is not a set date as to when the funds will be dispersed, but the deadline for students to submit an application is Sept. 7
If students have questions or concerns about whether they are eligible for the grant, visit dixie.edu/cares-act.
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