“Central State University appreciates the federal funding support provided,” said Jack Thomas, president of Central State, in a statement. “We have worked diligently to ensure that these funds help ease the challenges brought on by the global pandemic to help students reduce the cost of attendance while building capacity to improve remote capability.”
CSU spent about $4.1 million of the funds on student debt relief, the university said. They also spent about $3 million on IT infrastructure and remote learning software; $2 million on HVAC infrastructure; $3.5 million on enrollment incentives; $2.4 million on providing students with free books; $4.5 million on student support; $2 million on health and vaccination incentives, and $3.5 million on their lost revenue for housing capacity.
Wilberforce forgave $375,000 in debt and fines owed to the school by graduates from spring 2020 and spring 2021 classes using ARPA funds.
Marsha Bonhart, spokeswoman for Wilberforce, said the university also spent the money on individual student financial support, student technology like laptops, improving the university’s distance learning technology and financial support of the newly refurbished and redesigned student health clinic.
Wilberforce’s enrollment has been hit hard during the pandemic. The university said previously it lost about 12% of enrollment between fall 2019 and fall 2020. Last summer, Wilberforce announced a 15% tuition cut for in-state students as an incentive for people to enroll.