Students at local colleges, universities should hear about federal relief money this week

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COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Students at local colleges and universities should get information this week about receiving federal relief money related to the coronavirus.

Congress is offering $14 billion to the nation’s colleges and universities as a rescue package. Schools were allotted varying sums based on their size and the number of students they teach from poorer backgrounds. Half the money is set aside to help students with expenses, the other half is to be used by the universities for coronavirus related expenses.

Here’s a look at our local universities and the CARES Act money they are getting:

Coastal Carolina University says it was allowed to apply for half of its more than $10 million allocation and has done so. The first allocation must go to students and cannot be used as part of the university’s housing, parking, meal plan credit. The administration is still in the process of determining the best and most efficient method of distributing money to students.

Florence-Darlington Technical College has received $1.5 million in CARES Act funding, which will be dispersed immediately to eligible students.

Horry Georgetown Tech says the funding will impact students enrolled in the spring semester. Tech received $2.5 million to award to qualifying students. Students should receive information about the money this week.

Francis Marion says it has not received the money from the federal government yet but says more then half of FMU’s student body will receive some assistance directly through this half of the CARE Act funds. “We used a simple methodology based on students on standard need-based aid criteria, specifically, eligibility for federal Pell Grant funding,” said Matt McColl, director of media relations.

Coker University will use a portion of the funds to help with COVID-19-related expenses.  The rest will be provided to students with emergency financial aid grants. The university will develop a protocol for distributing those funds based on guidelines from the Department of Education.

Several schools across the country have said they won’t accept the federal relief funds. Duke University said in a statement that accepting the funds could pose legal and regulatory liabilities, even if it passed the money on to students.

Some Ivy League schools, including Harvard and Yale, have said they will reject millions of dollars in federal funding amid growing scrutiny of wealthy colleges.

For more information, see:
Initial release from the U.S. Dept. of Education
Letter to colleges/universities

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