Miami Distributes Over $ 5 Million To Students For COVID Relief

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The University of Miami has granted eligible students up to $ 1,500 in federal aid starting Monday, March 29. The funds came from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). Miami received just under $ 6.5 million in total.

Beth Johnson, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid, helped distribute the funds. She said the students became eligible based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Johnson said the university has provided funding to more than 5,000 students so far.

Students were first notified if they qualified for funding through an email sent by One Stop of Miami.

“These funds are intended to help students deal with emergency costs related to the coronavirus such as: tuition, food, housing, health care and childcare,” said the e -mail.

Depending on the email, the money will be directly deposited into the student’s bank account in 7-10 days, or a paper check will be mailed, depending on whether the students have set up their RedHawks refunds.

Sophomore Liz Browning, a double major in creative and professional writing, was a recipient of the funding.

She said she had no idea the funding was coming until she checked her One Stop account a few days before the email was sent and found that she had been credited with $ 1,500. .

“It was written there ‘CRRSSA grant’, but I didn’t know what it was or what it meant, so I kind of ignored it,” Browning said. “But somehow, I didn’t know I was getting it. I didn’t apply and didn’t even know this was something Miami was doing for students.

Johnson said the students were awarded between $ 500 and $ 1,500 depending on their financial need. Pell Grant recipients, who represented approximately 13% of Miami students admitted in the 2018-19 school year, were automatically awarded $ 1,500.

Browning hopes to put the money in his savings account for future use.

“Most of my tuition is covered by college scholarships and grants,” said Browning, “but it will definitely help me save to pay rent and have something in my savings as a cushion in general.”

Johnson has so far said the university has donated $ 5.6 million and will donate the rest in the coming weeks.

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” We give [students] information, so if they want to use that funding to pay off their student loans, they have that option, ”Johnson said. “And with summer fast approaching, we have given them information if they want to use the funds for summer education as well.”

Brent Shock, vice president of enrollment management and student success, echoed Johnson, saying either option could ultimately help students financially.

“If a student even pays back $ 1,000 of their loan debt now, it saves them a lot of money exponentially over time,” Shock said.

Johnson said CRRSSA funding might not be the only money students receive. The American Rescue Plan Act was enacted on March 11, which Johnson says uses the same higher education emergency relief fund model established in previous legislation.

“At this time, it’s unclear when institutions will receive the funding,” Johnson said, “but the law requires institutions to use the funds to prioritize students with exceptional financial need, just like in this current allocation. . “

Shock said it is likely that students will not receive this funding until the fall.

Federal funding isn’t the only way for students to get financial aid, Shock said. Last spring, University Advancement began soliciting donations from alumni to create the Emergency Needs Fund to help struggling students during the pandemic.

The fund has raised over $ 1 million. Shock said the university spent about $ 850,000 from the fund.

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