Displacement Grants and Emergency Relief Aid Update For Students

August 18, 2020

Dear students,

Can you believe another semester is here? In the spring, Westminster received funds through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act as HEERF (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund) to assist students with expenses due to COVID-19. The Financial Aid Office anticipates students will continue to experience expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions of campus operations this fall. These disruptions include the move to online/remote instruction, additional purchases required for online course materials, and student services/resources moving online or no longer available. Students will receive emergency grants to assist with these costs. No application is necessary for these funds. The Financial Aid Office currently anticipate emergency grants to be around $250/student. The exact dollar amount will be based on the eligible recipient population after the beginning of the semester. Eligible students can expect to receive these funds by mid-September.

Similar to the spring, emergency grants will not be used by Westminster to cover outstanding tuition balances. Students will receive a paper check for the grant amount. HEERF funds are limited to those eligible to receive federal aid. Although this aid is tied to federal aid eligibility, Westminster set aside institutional funds for those ineligible to complete a FAFSA who are already receiving Westminster need-based aid (Griffin Grant, Griffin Scholarship or International College Grant). Those eligible to complete a FAFSA are required to submit a FAFSA and meet federal eligibility requirements to receive these funds.

As mentioned during the spring semester, there will be an additional emergency grant application period for fall expenses. Students will be able to apply for emergency funding as long as their expenses are due to the disruption or closure of campus operations, facilities, or resources due to COVID-19 during the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 Semesters. A separate notification will be sent from the Financial Aid Office in early September with criteria and timing on fall applications. Emergency grant requests will continue to be accepted until all HEERF dollars have been allocated.

Information about how Westminster has allocated HEERF funding can be found on the CARES Act and HEERF Reporting webpage.

Sincerely,

Joshua Montavon
Director of Financial Aid

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