Federal Grants for Students Provide Relief During Pandemic

Business owners and workers are not the only ones who have had economic problems since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have also faced a lot of issues. They are dealing with the emotional burdens of seeing their loved ones get sick or die as well as the financial burdens of lower family income and fewer available jobs. One higher education institution, the University of North Georgia, recently announced a second round of federal grants that will help its students who are facing mental health issues and financial problems.

One Student's Plight

One student, a junior at the university, said that the grant funds came in at the most important time. She is dealing with the financial loss of having to quit her job in order to make funeral arrangements for family members who died of COVID-19. She's also had to deal with the legal issues around their passing. In addition to that, she's dealing with the grief of her losses. The money will ensure that she can pay her bills and put food on her table.

About the College Grants

The United States Department of Education released information about this round of grant funding for colleges and universities on January 14. The grants are for students who have exceptional financial needs as a result of the pandemic. The grants work on an unusual method. The university has to pay out the money to the students first, then it is able to get reimbursed by the federal government for the amount of funds that it paid. So far, the University of North Georgia has distributed about $2 million in grants to 5,100 students.

How the Students Can Receive the Funds

The disbursement of the grant funds began this week. It continues through February 19. The first installment of the grants amounted to $6.8 million going to students at the University of North Georgia. In order to be eligible to receive the grant funds, a student must have been enrolled for the spring semester as of February 8. They must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020 to 2021 school year. They must also be eligible to receive Title IV financial aid. That type of financial aid includes federal grants, loans and work-study jobs. Finally, eligible students must have an estimated family contribution of $5,700 or less for each school year.

About the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid uses the family's ability to pay for the student's higher education in order to determine how much federal financial aid the student can receive. A person who is not documented can't receive this funding. International students are also ineligible to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and they can't get these grant funds.

Additional Funding for Students in Need

The University of North Georgia has an additional grant that its students can apply to receive. It is called the UNG CARES II Emergency Grant. It is for students who have specific hardships. Those hardships could be tuition, housing, mental healthcare, childcare, food or transportation. Eligible students can get up to $700. A student can receive funds from both grants. Funds are applied to student accounts. The university will keep distributing funds until its allotment has been exhausted.

How Many Students Got the Funds

So far, 1,900 students have received grant funds this semester. The university anticipates that it will be able to keep distributing the grants throughout the spring and summer semesters. If funds remain, it will continue disbursing funds into the autumn semester. A university spokesperson said that the funds have helped students pay for technology for distance education, food, housing and healthcare. The university is thankful for the ability to help its students get through the challenges of living through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students' Reactions to Receiving the Grants

When one student received confirmation that she would get the grant funds, her reaction was, "I'm saved." Her family's unexpected funeral expenses meant they didn't have enough money for the mortgage this month. She's going to use her $500 grant to help pay it. She lives in the house and commutes to school, and maintaining safe housing is a family priority. Knowing that the mortgage is paid is a relief. She can focus knowing that the mortgage is paid. Her anxiety about it was put to rest by the funds.

All You Need to Know before Applying for Personal Grants...

Grants are monetary assistance that governments and non-profits give to individuals or organizations to cater to specific needs. Grants are not like loans; they are not repaid. The government provides different g...


All You Need to Know about Personal Grants...

When you need money for personal expenses but don't want to borrow, the best option would be to seek an individual grant. The American government offers financial support to citizens for paying various expenses and for provisions...


Essential Information Needed When Applying for Grants...

If you have a project that needs funding, you need to know some avenues you can apply to for success. You may have heard about grants before but are unsure what they are and their application. Ensure you have the corre...


What Happened to America's Relief Grants?...

In 2020, known forever as the "Year of COVID," the American federal government printed over $7 trillion in brand new currency to spend its way through a pandemic. This led to thousands of different grant programs. From grants to ...