May 12, 2020
Susquehanna University this week will begin distributing one-time, student aid grants through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
At Susquehanna, 1,950 students – 88% of SU’s total enrollment – are eligible to receive the $1,095,606 student-aid portion of the HEERF. Disbursement will be based on each student’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and will range from $200 to $1,100.
These grant funds will be direct payments to students for financial hardship expenses (such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care) related to the disruption of on-campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible students do not have to take any action to receive the funds. Students who opted to receive electronic refunds will receive grants electronically. All other students will receive a check mailed to their address on file.
“Susquehanna is committed to assisting our students now and in the future,” said University President Jonathan D. Green. “We remain grateful to our partners at the U.S. Department of Education for helping us in this endeavor by making these grants available to our students.”
HEERF was authorized by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In addition to the financial support provided through the CARES Act, Susquehanna took several steps to help students during the pandemic. In late March, the university refunded $6.5 million to its students for unused, prorated spring housing and meal plan payments. This spring the university allowed student employees who could perform their jobs remotely to continue working, which provided them continued financial support and professional experiences. Susquehanna also loaned laptops and provided other technology to support students unable to access technology for remote learning. The university also covered shipping expenses to mail essential items to students.
The university is also creating an additional fund, supported by private donations, to support a broader range of students with demonstrated financial need, including international students and others who are ineligible to receive CARES Act funds. More information about that fund will be forthcoming in the next few months.