Georgia State students were informed by email, texts and website messaging that the U.S. Secretary of Education, in response to the CARES Act, notified colleges and universities that financial resources are available to provide grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students were also notified in accordance with recommendations from the Secretary of Education that Georgia State has distributed funds received through the CARES Act by prioritizing students with the greatest levels of financial need using processes the university has already developed to distribute need-based institutional aid.
Georgia State requested resources from the CARES Act and created two distribution methods for providing this additional support to our students. The CARES Act provided Georgia State $45,243,852 in additional support. Fifty percent, or $22,621,926, of this amount is earmarked for student relief. This relief is provided in two direct distributions and through an emergency grant application process.
The first direct-grant distribution occurred at the end of April 2020 when 22,877 students were given grants ranging from $200 to $700. The total amount of the distribution was $13,305,250. Students selected for this grant had an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that fell below $5,577, were enrolled in the spring term, were not previously taking online courses and met all eligibility criteria for CARES Act funding. These grants were provided to graduate and undergraduate students.
The second direct-grant distribution is scheduled for June. It is estimated that between 8,500 and 9,000 students will receive a grant ranging from $200 to $700. The estimated amount for the distribution is expected to range between $4.5 million and $5 million. Students selected for this distribution will be chosen from more than 38,000 students who have submitted a 2019-20 FAFSA, are enrolled in the summer term, have an EFC below $5,577 and meet all eligibility criteria for CARES Act funding. Students enrolled 100 percent online at the beginning of the spring term are not eligible.
In addition to the direct grants, students may apply for CARES Act assistance through the Emergency Assistance Application link on the Coronavirus Update page on the Georgia State website. Students who are experiencing financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for assistance regardless of their EFC. Students must have completed a 2019-20 or 2020-21 FAFSA and be otherwise eligible to receive Title IV financial aid. Awards are granted up to $1,500 per application with a maximum lifetime award not to exceed $6,195. About $3 million has been reserved to provide support to students though this channel. To date, 781 students have received awards with a total amount disbursed of $390,115. Fund distribution may change as a result of student needs and enrollment patterns. An update may be provided at that time.
As of May 22, 23,658 grants have been awarded from CARES Act funds with an additional 8,500 to 9,000 grants scheduled to be awarded in early June.