East Tennessee State University has begun to distribute $5.54 million provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for emergency relief to eligible students. The US Department of Education provided student eligibility criteria and guidance to institutions of higher education concerning the distribution of the federal CARES Act funds. Students are required to have established eligibility for Title IV funding to qualify and the funding formula sets aside at least 75% of the funds for students with federal Pell Grant eligibility. Grants will be distributed to students with the highest need based on the data provided on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2019-2020 aid year.
University staff in the Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office will process the grant amounts and apply the aid to student accounts. Students do not need to take any action to receive the grant. Students eligible to receive the grant will receive an email from the university with additional details regarding the disbursement. Approximately 90% of the initial CARES Act funding will be disbursed directly to eligible students in the form of grant awards to address financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.
The remaining 10% of the initial CARES Act funding will be made available for direct student emergency grant requests. Students must have been enrolled in the spring 2020 semester to qualify and the individual grants can be awarded for student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. More information about student eligibility and how to apply for emergency grants available through the CARES Act is forthcoming.
The university has already distributed almost $50,000 and raised over $40,000 in private donations for the Buccaneer Student Crisis Fund, which is a separate fund from CARES Act funding. The Buccaneer Crisis funds enable the university to support a broader range of students and student needs, which include international students and other students who may be ineligible to receive CARES Act funds. Students who may not qualify for federal financial assistance, or who may have needs related to housing insecurity, may submit a care report to the Office of the Dean of Students to apply for emergency funding provided by the Buccaneer Student Crisis Fund.
For questions, contact CARESact@etsu.edu
ETSU has taken additional steps beyond the creation of the Buccaneer Student Crisis Fund to provide students with support and financial relief due to the disruptions experienced by the spread of coronavirus:
- The ETSU Board of Trustees approved the request for a 0% increase in tuition, fees, housing and food costs for the 20-21 academic year.
- A campus-wide effort “Calling all Bucs!” to call all current ETSU students to offer support, information on resources, and assistance is underway.
- President Brian Noland approved the continued pay of work study, APS student workers, graduate assistants and tuition scholars during the spring semester who were displaced through no fault of their own.
- Students who paid out-of-pocket for university housing have received refunds. The university is currently completing refunds associated with meal plans.
- More than 60 students have received housing and utility assistance and over 70 people picked up food boxes at Bucky’s Pantry during the month of April.
- The Office of Information Technology, in coordination with the Department of Housing and Residence Life, has designated and loaned laptops to students with technology needs who had no other way to access online learning. Students have also received subsidies for internet access and hotspots.
- Our skilled physicians, researchers, and faculty have partnered with Ballad and others to safeguard our region. The totality of these commitments and efforts speak to the perseverance of the ETSU Buccaneer spirit.
We thank you for your patience during these times of uncertainty. As the semester draws to a close, we hope the upcoming days can be a time of rest and renewal, and celebration for our graduates. We look forward to the day when we gather together again on the beautiful campus that we are proud to call home.
One E on the logo . One Community. One ETSU Family.