Lindenwood waiting to receive The Higher Education Relief Fund II

Most+of+the+money+from+the+CARES+Act+was+given+back+to+students+through+Pell+Grants+or+housing+refunds.+

Amanda May

Most of the money from the CARES Act was given back to students through Pell Grants or housing refunds.

Amanda May, Reporter

Lindenwood has yet to receive money from the latest installment of federal government aid for higher education institutions.  

The Higher Education Relief Fund II (HEERF II) was signed into law late December 2020. An extra $21 billion was allocated to the fund in January 2021, according to a press release from the Department of Education. 

On the federal level, the CARES Act, released last spring, allocated $6.7 million dollars to Lindenwood- half of which was given back to students through Pell Grants and need-based applications.

According to Rick Baniak, vice president of fiscal affairs and chief financial officer for Lindenwood, there were 1677 grants given to students. Each grant was about $2000.  

“1435 grants were given to our Pell population- the students who were on Pell Grants,” Baniak said.

The remaining 242 grants were given to students who applied through a process with enrollment management, where the grants were distributed based on economic need.  

The other half of the money was used to reimburse some of the $5 million the university spent giving students refunds for housing from last spring due to COVID-19.  

Another $635,000 was given to Lindenwood from the state level. The money from the state level was used to reimburse the classroom OWL cameras, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer amongst other supplies.  

It is undetermined at this time when Lindenwood will receive funds from HEERF II.  

“That legislation is still pretty new and we’re going through all the verbiage…so that’s still ahead of us,” Baniak said. “It is also undetermined at this time how much Lindenwood will receive. 

“Nothing is for sure, but our best guess is that we’re going to get an equivalent amount of money as we had before,” Baniak said. “And then we would go through a similar process. Whether it’s the same or not, there haven’t been formal decisions made on that.”  

Baniak emphasized that the money is appreciated.  

“It’s being put to good use,” Baniak said. “We are using the money to try and make campus a better experience for our students. We want to be safe, we want to be productive… These funds go a long way in helping to do that.”