Auburn University has received $7.8 million in emergency student-aid funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, according to an email from Student Financial Services.
This funding from the CARES Act is intended to help mitigate the additional expenses that students may have incurred due to the suspension of on-campus activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Students who meet eligibility requirements and who have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 may apply for this program," the email stated.
To receive this funding, students must have completed the 2019-20 FAFSA and have been enrolled in on-campus classes this past spring.
According to SFS, the eligible expenses that can be reimbursed with this funding include "food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare expenses."
Eligible students can apply through Student Financial Services.
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The $7.8 million in funding being given to students is half of the $15.6 million that the University received from the CARES Act.
According to Kelli Shomaker, the University's vice president for business and finance and CFO, the other half of the grant will be used to offset some of the expenses the University incurred as a result of the coronavirus.
According to Shomaker's own estimations, the portion of the grant not passed along to students will cover approximately 25 percent of the lost revenue and costs related to the coronavirus.
"The university refunded approximately $13 million for room and board as well as study abroad programs," Shomaker said. "We expect to use [half of this grant] to cover lost revenue or additional costs as a result of COVID-19."
Looking ahead to the summer and fall semesters, Shomaker said that while the University has certainly lost some of its revenue, it is not detrimental.
"We anticipate a loss of revenue from the student service fees due to the decision to suspend that fee for the summer," Shomaker said. "But through April, enrollment by headcount and credit hours is higher than last year."
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