Students to receive COVID-19 relief funds starting Friday

(Photo Illustration by Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

Approximately 7,000 Kansas State students will receive Higher Education Emergency Relief II funds in their bank accounts by Friday, April 2.

If students did not set up direct deposit in KSIS, they will still receive their funds by mail. Those checks will be mailed on April 2 as well, but will arrive after that.

These grants, totaling $5.8 million, are part of the second round of the Federal Coronavirus response and relief supplemental appropriations act. K-State received about $6.3 million to go towards student financial relief in all. The remaining sum — approximately $500,000 — is available for students who did not receive a block grant to apply for.

Robert Gamez, director of Student Financial Assistance, said the Office of Student Financial Assistance is moving as quickly as possible. Funds were disbursed to students’ university accounts on March 30.

“That money is now in the process of going out to the students who got the block grants,” Gamez said.

Gamez said the university used students’ expected family contributions from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to make it “equitable.”

“We want to be very very transparent with the community,” Gamez said. “We went and looked at those individuals who had the lowest expected family contribution as it is calculated by the federal government.”

Gamez said the university will not use these grants to pay for outstanding charges a student may have. The full amount will go to the students.

“They’re going to get the money and they may need to turn around pay a bill they have with the university … but the federal government is very clear about this,” Gamez said. “We want to make sure it gets in the hands of students to help them out.”

The financial assistance office made its policies and processes available on its website.

Denver Hall, senior in animal science, said they will receive $1,000 from the grant.

“I have my tuition paid off for this semester, but I’ll use the rest [of the grant] to pay off loans and then applying for an internship that I also have to pay tuition for,” Hall said.

Hall said they were able to work through the spring and summer, so they didn’t experience financial issues related to COVID-19.

Those who didn’t receive funds can still apply for some of the remaining money. Gamez said $200,000 is available for students who have financial difficulties related to COVID-19. Another $300,000 is earmarked for graduate students who work as teaching assistants or research assistants and have incurred expenses in order to work remotely.

“It seems like a lot of money but it’s probably spent fairly quickly,” Gamez said.

For those ineligible for the COVID-19 relief funds, other options are available on the Office of Financial Assistance website.

My name is Bailey Britton and I am the former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.