Lindenwood prepares to assist students with CARES Act money

Matt Hampton, Editor-In-Chief

Lindenwood University is getting more than $6.7 million in federal funds, and the school plans on distributing some of the coronavirus relief money to students this week.

Lindenwood received advance notice of deposit for money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on May 1, associate vice president of Enrollment Management Breanne Simkin said. 

Students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can request money to cover tuition, housing, and other expenses with this form and upload documents about their financial situation here

Who can receive aid?

According to the latest eligibility requirements from the Department of Education, Simkin said students must have a FAFSA on file to get grant money, but they do not have to have received financial aid.  Lindenwood can give out grants on an ongoing basis for up to a year, but they must go to students who were enrolled in a term that was disrupted by the pandemic.  For Lindenwood, this currently includes spring and summer 2020.  

Graduate and undergraduate students on both campuses can apply for CARES grants, but the law excludes students who were online-only before the pandemic.  

Though non-U.S. citizens are eligible for some CARES Act benefits, they are not allowed to receive emergency student grants.  However, Lindenwood established the Lions Relief Fund to assist non-U.S. citizens and international students, said Terry Whittum, senior vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Engagement.  

How much money will be given out?

Simkin said student grants can be as much as $6,100.  

“We have steered away from creating award bands, and we’ve left it up to the maximum suggested award value that was published by the Department of Education, so for this award year which ends in the summer, that maximum is roughly $6,100,” she said. “We will obviously look at the requests in the situation, but we will go up to that award value.”

Simkin said the total amount the government gave each school was based 75% on its total enrollment in 2017 and 25% on the percentage of its students who were eligible for the Pell Grant.  

Universities are required to spend half of the funds on emergency financial aid. This amount is enough money for more than 540 students, based on the $6,100 maximum grant amount.

Whittum said Lindenwood is still deciding how it will spend the other half of the $6.7 million.  

“Most likely, we will use those funds to offset some of the expenses the university has incurred due to COVID-19,” he said. “We are waiting to learn from the Department of Education what limitations they will place on the use of these funds.”

Correction:  A previous version of this story accidentally stated that CARES Act grants apply to students taking classes in spring and fall 2020.  This was supposed to say spring and summer 2020.  Whether or not fall classes will be affected by COVID-19 has not yet been determined.