ISSUED: 26 June 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University received $2.6 million dollars in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Emergency Relief Grant money from the U.S. Department of Education to help offset the cost COVID-19 has had on students and the university. Half the of the money, about $1.3 million, is being distributed directly to students who suffered losses due to the pandemic. The other half will cover institutional costs associated with significant changes in the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.
Shepherd is providing Emergency Financial Assistance Grants for students who were enrolled on or after March 13. So far, about 1,300 qualified students who have had additional unexpected expenses or suffered a hardship because of the pandemic have received CARES Act grants. Expenses that qualify include purchasing a computer, printer, hotspot device, or internet service for the sudden switch to online classes; buying additional course materials; additional expenses incurred for food, housing, healthcare, and childcare; and lost income needed to enroll in summer 2020 classes.
Grant amounts are based on need. Any Shepherd student in the federal Pell Grant program receives $1,000, other eligible undergraduate students receive $650, and graduate students receive $450. International students are not eligible for CARES Act grants, so Shepherd is utilizing funds from the Shepherd University Foundation to assist them if they are qualified and suffered financial losses due to COVID-19.
The distribution of the remainder of the CARES Act institutional funding will be determined in the near future. Pam Stevens, vice president for finance and CFO, said, “It is imperative that the funds are utilized in compliance with the grant requirements and are used in a manner that serves both students and the university to compensate for COVID-19 hardships.”
For more information about Shepherd’s efforts to support students during the pandemic, visit https://www.shepherd.edu/supportstudents.
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