Rescue plan

BU distributes US federal bailout money to students | BU today

The University has started distributing nearly $ 21 million in federal aid to students financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain students who have not completed a federal financial aid form and who believe they are eligible (see eligibility answers below) have until December 15th to apply.

The distribution began last week to students with exceptional needs, identified by the University based on information provided on their 2021/2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Exceptional need is defined as an expected family contribution towards education costs of $ 15,000 or less.

The federal money comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), part of the American rescue plan adopted by Congress and President Joe Biden last March. BU received $ 42 million, with the law allowing half for students and half for institutional fees. Last year, the University distributed two more rounds of emergency coronavirus aid to students under the 2020 CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) law.

“I am delighted to be able to distribute funds to our students who really need it,” says Julie Wickstrom, Executive Director of Financial Aid and Student Employment. “I know the pandemic has really disrupted people’s lives, and it’s great that we have these funds to help students and their families.”

She explained how the distribution works for BU Today.

Q&A

Julie wickstrom

BU today: How does the BU determine eligibility for HEERF funding?

Julie Wickstrom: The law states that schools must prioritize HEERF funds to students with exceptional needs who have suffered additional costs related to the coronavirus.

BU today: Are undocumented and international students eligible for HEERF?

Julie Wickstrom: Yes, the Ministry of Education [DoE] The final rule on student eligibility states that all students are eligible for HEERF Emergency Financial Assistance Grants, regardless of whether they have completed a Free Federal Student Aid Application or are eligible for the title IV. This includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, beneficiaries of deferred action for the arrival of childhood, other dreamers. [under the proposed federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act], and students without similar papers. International students can also receive HEERF.

However, institutions must ensure that funds go to students with exceptional needs. The DoE encourages institutions to prioritize domestic students, especially undergraduates, in allocating this funding. This includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, DACA beneficiaries, other Dreamers., and similar undocumented students.

To meet these guidelines, individuals must be enrolled students who are enrolled for fall 2021, enrolled in a diploma program, and have exceptional financial need.

BU today: Can students who were enrolled in traditional distance education programs receive these funds?

Julie Wickstrom: Yes, distance education students who meet the other qualifications will be considered.

BU today: How can students who have not completed the FAFSA apply for these funds?

Julie Wickstrom: These students, including citizens, permanent residents, refugees, DACA beneficiaries, other DREAMers and students without similar documents, can apply for these funds using the BU HEERF application process if they have encountered financial difficulties. linked to COVID-19. The University has created a centralized process that will allow students to apply for funds. Undergraduates, graduate students, and professional students can use the same online form to apply.

Students can only receive one grant and should not apply if they have already been notified that they will receive funds.

BU today: How much money will individual students receive?

Julie Wickstrom: Grants range from $ 500 to $ 2,800, depending on demonstrated need and the availability of funding.

BU today: How will a student be notified of their eligibility?

Julie Wickstrom: Students will receive an email from [email protected] to their BU email address, with Julie Wickstrom, Executive Director of Financial Aid, confirming eligibility and with instructions on how to claim their funds. .

BU today: How will a student get this money?

Julie Wickstrom: Students will receive a co-branded email from Chase Bank and BU with instructions on how to electronically transfer funds to their bank account. Students will be asked to provide their bank account information so that funds can be transferred directly to their bank account from Chase Bank.

BU today: Will receiving a HEERF grant reduce other student financial aid?

Julie Wickstrom: No. HEERF grants are one-time and special federal grants. They are distinct from other financial aids and do not affect them in any way.

BU today: What should students know about the use of funds?

Julie Wickstrom: The goal of the program is to put necessary funding in the hands of students without unnecessary burdens, demands or delays. The funds can be used by students for any component of their tuition or for emergency costs related to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including child care). mental health) or childcare.

BU today: Will students be required to submit receipts or otherwise document that they spent these funds?

Julie Wickstrom: No. No documentation is required.

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