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Stetson Announces $3.2 Million in Welcome Back Grants, Credits

exterior of Elizabeth Hall

Stetson University announced it is providing approximately $3.2 million to qualified, full-time, returning undergraduate students as special $1,500, one-time, Stetson Welcome Back Grants. This donor-funded grant will assist students who are concerned about the current economy and impact of the pandemic in continuing their studies. The amount will appear as a credit on returning student bills in the coming weeks.

This $1,500 is in addition to a $400 housing credit already provided to Spring 2020 residential students. Together the credits will amount to $1,900 per qualified residential student or $1,500 per qualified commuter student for students returning in Fall 2020, or nearly $3.2 million in total institutional grants and credits. Neither the Stetson Welcome Back Grant nor the housing credit requires repayment. More information for students is available at www.stetson.edu/welcomeback.

Wendy B. Libby, PhD

“A survey of our DeLand undergraduate students found a level of financial anxiety and concern amid the current economic and cultural upheavals caused by the pandemic,” said Wendy B. Libby, PhD, president. “Even among the budget issues the university is wrestling with, we felt we had to do what we could to help students return to Stetson this fall and complete or continue their studies.”

The grant and housing credits are in addition to nearly $1 million in CARES Act funds already awarded to undergraduate students through the university’s emergency appeals process. Nearly 1,000 appeals have been approved with awards ranging from $350 to $1500, with most averaging $700. Approximately $600,000 in emergency appeals funding remains available for Fall 2020 returning students through the Financial Planning and Aid office’s Fall 2020 Appeal Form.

Bob Huth

“We have directed CARES Act funding to those students facing difficulties and issues brought on by COVID-19, including things as basic as rent and food,” said Bob Huth, CFO and EVP of Stetson. “I am really appreciative of how our community and friends stepped up through the Hatters Care fund, extending our ability to help students.”

In addition to the CARES Act awards, more than $100,000 has been raised for Hatters Care, a COVID-19 Emergency Fund, and a recently established International Student Emergency Endowment Fund to support students impacted by COVID-19 at Stetson. The awards are from private donations and grants and have been used to help with living expenses and other necessities, including $35,000 used to help international students stranded by COVID-19. International students are not able to benefit from the CARES Act.

New Academic Calendar

Stetson University’s revised Fall 2020 Academic Calendar for DeLand begins a full week earlier than originally planned, with residence halls opening Aug. 7-8 for new students and Aug. 9-12 for continuing students with staggered, appointment-style, move-in schedules to limit exposure to others. Other changes include:

  • Monday, Aug. 10: The university’s signature First Year Seminars and FOCUS orientation activities will be combined.
  • Thursday, Aug. 13: Classes begin.
  • Monday, Sept. 7: Classes will be held on Labor Day.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: Final exams will conclude (before Thanksgiving).
  • Week of Nov. 30: Remote learning make-up days will be scheduled to provide back-up Hurricane Days in the event of a campus closure due to severe weather. 
  • Some traditional fall events, such as the university’s annual Values Day, are being moved to Spring 2021.

The calendar, and additional planning toward a safe classroom experience and academic policies, is the result of the work of faculty and support staff. Working together they created a calendar to support the on-campus learning for which Stetson is known while limiting risk to the community.

The calendar has been designed to provide the maximum learning and class time, and limit community risks associated with student, faculty and staff travel.

-Janie Graziani