We hope that this communication finds you busy with your studies. This has been an unusual time for everyone and we recognize that students and their families have had to make many adjustments since the start of the pandemic. We have important news for you regarding additional emergency funds that may be available to you.
Early on, in response to the disruption, Stetson University quickly located remaining funds from federal, state and institutional sources to begin providing emergency assistance to students. The Office of Student Financial Planning developed an appeal process to gather requests from students for assistance with technology issues, relocation costs, food, rent, utility and other monthly costs facing students as their jobs both on and off campus were lost. A fundraising campaign was started by the Development Office that raised over $62,000 to assist these needs.
Now, Congress has recognized that students and their families are struggling and passed the CARES Act as a means to provide funding to colleges and universities to assist with student emergency costs. Many students have been impacted financially by having to return home, not being able to return home, classes shifting to online instruction, and students and parents losing their jobs in the economic downturn.
This notice is to inform you that we are ready to help. The funding from the government has arrived but federal guidance from the U.S. Department of Education has placed specific regulations on the emergency grant funds. For students to receive an immediate emergency grant from the CARES Act funding, the student must have filed a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year or be eligible to receive federal financial aid. There is still time to file a FAFSA for 2019-2020 if you have not filed one for this year. You have until June 30, 2020, to file. In addition, we are encouraging students to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA as well so that we can aid in the fall semester should the funding remain available. To file a FAFSA for either year, use the StudentAid.gov website.
Students who are eligible to receive emergency grants can receive these funds for this current semester, the summer semester or the upcoming fall semester. In addition to the FAFSA, students can complete the appropriate COVID-19 appeal form.
As you know, personal and social responsibility are the heart of our values. Therefore, in addition to individual family appeals reviewed on a case-by-case basis, additional allocations will be made to students based on the following guidelines: those families with the highest demonstrated need and most impacted family income levels; families that have maximized utilization of all state, federal and self-help resources; and total level of loan indebtedness.
Grants from the CARES Act will range from $300 to $1500 based on your need and amount requested.