The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will soon begin distributing $7,614,350 in federal stimulus funding to support students facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds were provided by the U.S. Department of Education through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and are designed to prioritize aid to students based on their socioeconomic circumstances.
“We do not want this pandemic to disrupt the ability of our students to continue their studies,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “The CARES Act can help alleviate the financial hardships brought about by the impact of COVID-19, and I greatly appreciate the federal support for our students. We also have many other initiatives to support our students as they continue to pursue their Husker degree.”
Students can receive CARES funds in one of two ways:
About three-fourths of the federal funds will be distributed to students via direct grants, based upon their demonstrated need as calculated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid previously submitted for the 2019-20 academic year. Students eligible for these funds will receive an email from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid indicating that they qualify for this grant, and they will need to fill out a simple form indicating they were adversely financially impacted by COVID-19. Those grants will begin to be distributed by May 8. Approximately 5,200 UNL students would be eligible to receive $1,200 payments through this mechanism.
Remaining funds will be distributed in the form of emergency grants to cover unexpected costs such as housing, food, technology, or health care that resulted from the pandemic. Students will receive an email from Scholarships and Financial Aid indicating that they may qualify. To apply for those funds, students should login to their MyRED portal and click on the financial aid tab, where they will find a link to an application. There is no deadline to apply for an emergency grant, but students are urged to apply as soon as possible because funds are limited. Eligibility will be determined based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and requests will be reviewed promptly.
“We realize this has been a tough time for everyone and we’re grateful to be able to provide this financial assistance to our students, along with the other student support services that we offer as a campus community,” Justin Chase Brown, director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, said.
Students who have experienced financial hardship but do not qualify for federal funds can still apply for a variety of resources made available. More information on these resources is available online. The university will continue to make every effort to mitigate financial burdens for students created by this extraordinary situation.
Of the funding, an additional $200,000 is allocated directly for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and will be distributed to its students.