Dear UNCG Community,
In addition to so many personal, academic, and operational challenges presented by COVID-19 to the UNCG community, there have been and will continue to be significant financial implications for our university and so many others across the higher education landscape.
We want to keep these issues from derailing the academic progress many in our community have worked toward for a lifetime. Our priority in the short term is to provide our students and their families with the relief we can, using funds that have been made available through federal and state grants, our generous donors, and other sources.
The U.S. Department of Education has now begun releasing the first wave of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. In coordination with the UNC System, UNCG is assessing the best mechanisms to deliver these funds to students. UNCG has received approximately $18.6 million, of which $9.3 million is specifically reserved to provide students with emergency financial aid grants.
We have established a clear set of guiding principles to help us distribute this money effectively, equitably, and quickly. Our hope is to help our students stay enrolled at UNCG, mitigate financial impacts from COVID-19, and maintain progress toward earning a college degree – a lifelong goal for so many students and families in our community:
- We will distribute the funds to those with the most significant need and as widely as possible, in keeping with legislative guidelines. UNCG will use a range of financial aid/FAFSA data to assess need while also proactively reaching out through our academic advising team to students who may have dropped or withdrawn from courses in the Spring due to the challenges of moving to online learning or other personal issues.
- We will create a clear and simple application process so that students and families can seek support easily. Because so many students and families face unique situations, we will also create an online application process to provide grants of up to $500, depending on the situation. This will be shared with students once the application form is available.
- We will do this quickly and minimize delays. Awarding of the grants will begin within the next 1-3 weeks. Recipients will see the amount of their grant posted to their student account before it is disbursed. Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit on the UNCG Student Account Center to receive their funds more quickly.
To be eligible for CARES grants, students must have been enrolled in Spring 2020, be eligible to receive federal financial aid, and have filed a FAFSA with UNCG. Students who did not file a FAFSA will be given the opportunity to do so. More details on the CARES process, eligibility, and specific criteria are available here. Students (undergraduate and graduate) with questions should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we have already distributed more than $10.5 million in refunds to students for Spring semester housing and dining costs, we are not done seeking financial relief and support for our students. We also continue to distribute funds from our SAFE initiative (Student Assistance Fund for Emergencies.) Established by our class of 1967, this fund provides immediate relief for students facing unexpected financial adversity. This fund is supported through the generosity of UNCG donors and is administered through the UNCG Division of Student Affairs. Students can apply for funds here. Contributions to this fund are accepted here. We continue to see more needs among our students, so all help is appreciated. Already we have distributed more than $10,000 from the SAFE fund and are in the process of distributing $50,000 more.
The remaining 50% of our CARES funding, as outlined in the legislation, will be utilized to partially offset the more than $22 million in expenses and lost revenues associated with the University’s response to COVID-19 and related, on-going operational impacts.
UNCG will continue to actively seek financial support for our students through all means available to us – accessing UNC System resources, securing support from state and federal sources, and activating our generous donor and alumni population to support the needs of our students and families. We will keep you posted as we have more opportunities to share or information to pass along. Please continue to monitor your email, follow @UNCG social media channels, and regularly check our COVID-19 Web Site for the latest updates.