Last week many Oklahoma State University students who are eligible for federal aid were notified of a $1,000 grant to help alleviate COVID-19 financial burdens.
For this round of collegiate stimulus, Pell grant recipients immediately qualify for the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act grant and students without a Pell grant who wish to be considered can fill out an application. While the grant is $1,000, the value can change based on available funding, according to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
On Dec. 27 the CRRSA Act was made into law. Eligible students at Oklahoma State have access to a grant resulting from the act.
Chad Blew, director of scholarships and financial aid, said funding is limited and because of this, not all students applying for the grant have a 100% chance of receiving it. He said CRRSA funding is the second round of stimulus to make its way to OSU students, and there will be another cycle of stimulus, but the school has not been notified when that funding will be made accessible. Blew said he hopes this will lift a portion of the economic burden off those suffering during this pandemic.
“Obviously as we all know there’s a lot of families that are hurting right now,” Blew said. “So hopefully this in cooperation with the stimulus grants that families are getting help.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, college students were already facing financial difficulties. In a 2019 report published by The Hope Center, 48% of students at two-year universities and 41% percent of students at four-year universities faced food insecurity along with other financial burdens.
One year later, students are still trying to meet their basic needs. Robert Owens, a junior electrical engineering major, said “money is money” and this funding will help struggling students.
Owens said last semester he wasn’t notified of any stimulus assistance and he welcomes the change because he knows other students can’t even afford necessities like food.
Dayiu Johnson, junior apparel design major, said her major is expensive outside of tuition, and adding in the financial factors of the pandemic, any assistance is helpful.
Johnson said because of the pandemic some students are not only stressed because of their financial situation but also because they are relying on economic assistance from loved ones. She said this can result in students feeling guilty but with this grant, she feels it will help resolve those emotions.