Coronavirus: Wright State to distribute $5.2M in federal funds to help students

An aerial view of Wright State University's campus. Wright State leaders have been paying close attention to the university's budget as the school tries to correct years of overspending.
An aerial view of Wright State University's campus. Wright State leaders have been paying close attention to the university's budget as the school tries to correct years of overspending.

More than 6,750 students impacted by the pandemic are eligible to the emergency grants

Wright State University is using more than $5.2 million in federal funding to help students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The university will issue emergency federal grants of up to $1,100 to more than 6,750 students enrolled in classes for the spring 2021 semester.

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“We believe these funds will provide some financial relief to a broad range of spring 2021 students who experienced hardship as a result of COVID-19,” said Kim Everhart, director of financial aid.

WSU will begin distributing the funds next week and aims to finish the process by March 19.

The federal funds are able to help students with emergency costs from the pandemic, including tuition, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.

A total of 6,753 Wright State students are eligible for the grants. Students must be degree-seeking, enrolled at least half-time during the spring semester and are U.S. citizens or eligible non-U.S. citizens. About 43% of the students receiving funds will get the maximum grant of $1,100.

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WSU is allocating the grants based on students’ FASFA and prioritizing those with exceptional financial needs. The money will automatically be distributed to eligible students.

“We assume that all students seeking federal financial aid via the FAFSA have sought out financial assistance, and those needs could be greater given the national emergency,” Everhart said.

The university said it will automatically award eligible students. Students who are receiving funds will get an email explaining the details.

Funds cannot be awarded to non-degree students or international students including undocumented and DACA students.

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The grants are available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II, which gave funding to universities to help with emergency financial aid for students.

Wright State received $5,070,423 from HEERF II to provide students direct funds as a result of the pandemic. The university is also distributing $207,000 in remaining 2020 CARES Act funds to students. The money is federal funds and were authorized as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which Congress passed in December.