On April 27, 2020 St. Cloud State University was approved to receive $7,821,764 through the Federal CARES Act and has completed a Certification and Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education which, among other requirements, assures that no less than 50 percent of these funds will be used to provide direct Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students impacted by the institution’s transition to distance education as a result of the coronavirus and subsequent declaration of a National Emergency.
The following report identifies how St. Cloud State University utilized the portion of CARES Act funding designated to assist with institutional expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Cloud State University has distributed $3,910,882 in direct Emergency Financial Aid grants to students since receiving this funding. These grants are designed to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations and services due to the coronavirus.
During spring semester 2020, it is estimated that St. Cloud State University enrolled 6,944 students who were or could have been eligible to participate in the Title IV Federal Financial Aid programs of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Out of this potential pool, St. Cloud State University has awarded Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 6,765 students.
St. Cloud State University is making Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students through two methods. The initial distribution was made to all eligible students with the exception of employees receiving tuition waivers and students who were enrolled in all online classes from the beginning of the semester. Grants ranged from $250 to $1100. Award amounts above the $250 base amount were determined by considering criteria that would indicate a greater risk of financial distress such as Federal Pell Grant eligibility and 1st generation students.
A portion of the funding was retained for distribution through an emergency grant program. Eligible students who had additional expenses including items like food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care were able to complete a brief application. These emergency funds could not be applied directly to institutional charges on a student’s account. Awards were made based on the order applications were received through June 17th when the last available funds were awarded.
Additional Emergency Grants in 2020 were made to students between May 7th and June 17th based on the order applications were received. All available CARES Act funds have been awarded as of June 17th. Students still in need of emergency assistance can check other on-going resources such as the Student Life and Development Emergency Fund at https://www.stcloudstate.edu/studentaffairs/emergency-fund.aspx.