Students at the University of Northern Iowa will receive as much as $2,200 in federal aid beginning this week as the university works to distribute funding available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act — financial assistance designed to help students impacted by COVID-19.
The CARES Act, which passed in late March, will provide approximately $14 billion to higher education institutions and their students across the country. The university aimed to distribute funds to as many students as possible, recognizing that many Panthers demonstrated expenses due to the pandemic. In total, the university will distribute $3.8 million in CARES funding to the more than 3,000 students who applied for relief. Many students will receive their requested amount, up to a maximum of $2,200, to cover expenses they incurred as a result of coronavirus.
“We have been very intentional with our outreach to students,” said Tim Bakula, director of financial aid at UNI, “We have been committed to letting all of our students know about these funds, and we will continue working with those who identify need as a result of the coronavirus.”
This CARES Act funding is specifically intended to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. These expenses could include food, housing, child care, healthcare and technology.
“This federal funding will provide much-needed support for our students, many of whom have been impacted financially by this health pandemic,” said UNI President Mark Nook. “I’d like to thank our legislators for their work in supporting and securing this funding, as well as our financial aid and governmental relations teams at UNI that worked to distribute these funds to our students in need.”
UNI students who were enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester and who completed a FAFSA were eligible for the funds after submitting an application through the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Students who do not meet eligibility criteria set by the U.S. Department of Education have been encouraged to work with the Dean of Students’ office to learn more about other funding opportunities.
UNI benefactors have also played an important role in providing support to students. Within just a few days after launching the new UNItogether Scholarship, more than 500 people donated a combined $50,000 — funding that will help mitigate tuition costs for new and returning students facing financial hardships due to COVID-19.