Displacement Grants and Emergency Relief Aid Update For Students - April 24, 2020
April 24, 2020
The emergence of COVID-19 has presented significant challenges for our campus community and communities across the country. As COVID-19 mitigation actions have evolved, Westminster has acted in accordance with state and local guidance to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including urging residential students to remain with their families during the pandemic. Westminster is also receiving $1.9M in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act assistance, with at least half of those funds to be disbursed directly to students who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Once we receive funding, we will begin our COVID-19 emergency aid by assisting our residential students who were displaced because of mitigation efforts related to the coronavirus. Since March 27 (the end of our extended spring break), some students have returned to their campus residences, others have completed a move-out process, and a smaller number have been unable to return to campus at all. Although the spring term is not yet complete, we know that students have been awaiting information about the status of possible financial assistance for room-and-board expenses, in addition to supporting relief aid.
Residential students who have completed the move-out process in advance of March 30 will be issued grants towards housing and food services. The housing grant will be $1,000 for the spring term. In accordance with individual meal plan usage as of March 30, students will be granted up to $600 for the Purple Plan or up to $800 for the Gold Plan once the 2020 Spring Semester is completed for those students not living on campus and not using their meal plans. Please note: grant checks will be issued once students have completed the move-out process.
We recognize students who commute to campus have experienced housing and food insecurity, loss of employment, changes in childcare, and a variety of challenges connected to the coronavirus. In an effort to provide support to students who need additional assistance, we will also provide an emergency-relief fund available to all undergraduate and graduate students. The aid will be administered through the Financial Aid Office. Students will be able to request up to $500 of emergency aid through the college. The emergency aid will be available into the next academic year as some students and their families may not feel the impact until later. The Financial Aid Office will share more information when the application is open.
We ask for your understanding—and appreciate your patience during this time—as we begin to process refunds and develop the process for administering the emergency aid.
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