LOGAN – Last April Utah State University received over $17 million — through the CARES Act — and it came with a requirement that at least half of the funds go directly to students facing unanticipated hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So, $8.7 million was allocated to students in need and more than $7.5 million was dispersed by the time the 2020 calendar year came to an end.
USU Vice President of Academic and Instructional Services Robert Wagner said in the Fall, with some funds still available, the university switched its approach.
“We went back to a more broader grant style where we used the federal application for financial need to determine those students who had the greatest need,” Wagner said. “And then we offered them funds if they experienced hardships related to COVID.”
Does USU expect the same challenges in 2021 finding resources for students?
“A lot will depend on the availability of vaccines and really what our Fall semester is going to look like,” he answered. “We’re carefully watching the community and the state to see what the long range impacts are going to be.”
Congress recently announced additional CARES Act Funding and Wagner said in a few weeks USU expects to receive $30 million in funds from the federal government with the same amount ($8.7 million) allocated for students.
An additional 514 students received $291,215 in financial aid under USU’s Emergency Hardship Fund which was created in 2013 and financed primarily by university donors.
With funds from the CARES Act and USU’s Emergency Hardship Fund, the school distributed financial aid to 11,491 students totaling $7,831,385.27.