Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the federal government has issued three relief packages, which have given money to Texas Wesleyan to be issued to students in the form of grants.
The first package was known as the CARES Act package, which was done last spring, and the university was given a little under a $1 million to give to students in the form of an emergency grant due to the sudden onset of the pandemic.
“We sent out emails and communications about doing an application for those funds and we had about 1,400 students that were eligible and we only received 577 applications,” said Donna Nance, vice president of finance and administration.
In December of 2020, there was a second relief package called Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HERF), which included an additional $928,000. This package had different requirements than the previous package, and the Department of Education released this on Mar. 19.
“There will be another application process, where we will send out information to those eligible students the week of April 19. Based on the number of applicants we receive, we will then distribute those funds,” said Nance.
Those that are eligible for this second round of grant money must meet the standard of “exceptional need”. To figure out who is in this category, Texas Wesleyan will be looking at the 2020-2021 FAFSA applications and deciding based upon the expected family contribution or the unmet need, for the second round.
These decisions will be made around the first week of May, after the applications have been closed and processed by the financial aid department. These funds can also be used to pay off the student’s financial accounts as well, which is different from the previous package.
The third-round of funds, which contains $2.6 million, will be given out to students in the fall of 2021 and will have the same requirements as the second package.