Muskingum University’s Use of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Under the CARES Act.
As part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, The US Department of Education authorized more than $7 billion of emergency funding to colleges and universities across the United States. Muskingum University was allocated $1,596,789 in funding from the CARES act. Muskingum signed and returned to the Department of Education an assurance that at least half of the funds received ($798,395) would be designated for direct distribution to students.
The Department of Education mandated that relief paid to students must be:
*Based on need
*Paid to Title IV Financial Aid eligible students only
*Directly related to expenses incurred due to the disruption of campus operations including:
- Course materials
- Health care
- Child care
On May 11th $586,223 was paid out to 1,094 eligible students using a need-based formula to cover the estimated costs related to the disruption of campus activities – primarily housing, technology, and food to the extent that these costs exceeded the refunds paid in April for residential living and meal plans (room and board).
Based on the response to the initial distribution, the related petition program, and an analysis of student needs a second distribution of $186,132 was paid to these students on July 2nd.
The first distribution was followed by a petition period for all students and a survey of non-Title IV eligible students to confirm their status. On June 6th $4,500 was paid to 45 reclassified Title IV eligible students based on the results of the survey.
Petitions for additional aid from students continue to be reviewed by a team comprised of individuals from the financial aid, student affairs, student success, and business offices. As of Friday, October 16th, $11,840 has been distributed to students based on these reviews. The final round of petitions are under review and are expected to be paid by Friday October 23rd.