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More Than 25,000 Penn State Students To Receive Coronavirus Emergency Aid Grants

More than 25,000 Penn State students will receive cash grants of up to $1,000 to cover expenses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the university announced Wednesday.

Approximately $27.5 million will be distributed as emergency cash grants to students in need to help cover course materials, technology, food, housing, health care, and child care amid the coronavirus pandemic. The funds will be made available using the $55 million Penn State received as an allocation from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Students’ eligibility will be based on family income and other data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Grant recipients will be comprised of university’s Pell Grant-eligible and lower-income students.

The cash grants will be distributed to 23,000 undergraduates, and 2,000 graduate, law, and medical students from University Park and Commonwealth campuses. World Campus students are excluded, as students enrolled in online-only programs aren’t eligible for emergency aid.

“Colleges and universities have been given discretion by the U.S. Department of Education to determine how this emergency assistance will be disbursed to students,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “Knowing that a significant number of our students have experienced financial hardship, we want to make as deep of an impact as possible with this funding to reach as many students as we can who have incurred expenses as a result of the necessary shift to remote instruction.”

Eligible students will receive notification of their award by email in the coming weeks and must accept or deny the funding.

Students will need to prove the funds will be used to cover eligible expenses for things like course material, technology, food, housing, health care, and child care.

“We understand how critical these grants are to our students, and especially so for those students of limited means whose lives and educations have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, said. “We are committed to making these funds available to our students as quickly as possible, as we know from the large number of applicants to the University’s Student Emergency Fund — which has awarded more than $280,000 to students since the pandemic began — just how urgently this relief is needed.”

Additionally, approximately $2 million of the federal relief fund has been set aside for students that did not complete the FAFSA and for others whose finances were drastically affected by COVID-19. These funds will be allocated later down the line.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions relating to the emergency grants, visit Penn State’s website.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a senior biology major from York, Pa and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.

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