The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will begin to distribute more than $7.6 million in federal stimulus to students affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Nebraska Today, the U.S. Department of Education provided funds through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The stimulus funding is designed to prioritize aid to students based on their socioeconomic circumstances.
There are two ways students can receive CARES funds. First, about 75% of the federal funds will be distributed directly to students in the form of grants. Students must demonstrate their financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid previously submitted for the 2019-20 academic year. Those eligible to receive funds will receive an email from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
From there, students must fill out a form indicating the financial impact COVID-19 has had on them. Around 5,200 UNL students will be able to receive $1,200 payments through this system, beginning May 8 when the grants will start distribution.
Emergency grants to cover costs like housing, food, technology or health care will use the remaining funds. OSFA will send emails to students who qualify to receive these funds, and students can login to their MyRED portal to find a link to apply. While there is no deadline to apply for the emergency grant, students should apply as soon as possible as the funds are limited.
Justin Chase Brown, OSFA director, said the office is grateful to be able to provide financial assistance to students.
Students who do not qualify for the federal funds, but who have still experienced financial hardship, can apply for other resources available through the OSFA.
Additionally, $200,000 has been allocated for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, which will distribute the funding to its students.
Chancellor Ronnie Green said he doesn’t want the pandemic to harm students’ ability to continue their studies, and the CARES Act can help reduce the financial hardships the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.
“I greatly appreciate the federal support for our students,” Green told Nebraska Today. “We also have many other initiatives to support our students as they continue to pursue their Husker degree.”