As the Pittsburg community weathers the pandemic and prepares for another semester at Pitt State, the federal government has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide financial relief to states, workers, and small businesses. In addition, the CARES Act includes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund which enables universities to provide direct financial assistance to their students.
Pittsburg State University has received approximately $2.6 million reserved specifically for student financial relief.
Douglas Ball, PSU Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administration, said this is a way to help students with extra expenses incurred by the national shutdown.
“The University is hopeful that these funds will assist students in managing the financial impacts of COVID-19,” Ball said. “(These funds) will assist them in continuing their education and progressing toward a degree.”
Pell-eligible full-time students will receive $800 and Pell-eligible part-time students will receive $400. Pittsburg State will disburse the funds by electronic direct deposit for students with banking information on file. Those students can expect those funds to be disbursed within the next three weeks. Ball said students without direct deposit will receive their funds in a check.
The federal government requires strict eligibility guidelines, so not every student will qualify for relief. International and undocumented students and students enrolled in only online programs before the COVID-19 emergency are not eligible for the grants.
Eligibility requirements will include being enrolled as a degree-seeking student on/after March 13; not being in loan default or having grant or loan overpayment status; making satisfactory academic progress; having a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file; being eligible to receive Title IV federal aid; and having expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
Many students experienced loss of housing and income due to the mandatory shut-down of campus, but Ball said that the required expenses fall in a wide range of categories.
“Any expenses that are related to the the disruption, or change, in campus operations, such as the move the online classes,” Ball said. “Other possible expenses include food, course material, health care, childcare and technology.”
A Pittsburg State University task force has been working to create a CARES Act student relief application system and has shared details with students. Students will be notified through email when disbursements have been completed.
Students need to make sure the have a FAFSA on file. If not, they can do so at https://studentaid.gov.
So that their payment can be deposited as soon as possible, Pittsburg State students should also check to make sure their direct deposit information is updated in the Gus-system at https://psuapps.pittstate.edu/ui/CASH/studentbanking/bankinfo.