I’m writing to provide you with information about the funding that NIU has received from the federal government. The past year has been challenging and heartbreaking in so many ways, and we all continue to see the effects of COVID-19 on our families and communities. We are appreciative that NIU has received $7.4 million in additional federal relief funding to help our students, including those who are enrolled only in distance education programs.
The funding is part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and is focused on helping students cover the cost of attending NIU and emergency costs due to coronavirus during the Spring 2021 semester. Examples of such costs are tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care and child care.
Based on this guidance, NIU will add additional funds to the NIU Student Emergency Fund. NIU will also provide automatic grants to students who have the most financial need, based on information provided in the 2020-2021 FAFSA application.
1. Student Emergency Fund
Some federal funds will provide limited emergency financial assistance to currently enrolled students who certify that they have exceptional financial need due to loss of income or extraordinary emergency expenses.
TO APPLY or for more information, please visit the Student Emergency Fund website here.
2. Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA) Grant
A grant of $800 will be supplied to students who meet the exceptional financial need criteria.
You may qualify for this grant if you are an undergraduate, graduate or law school student and are enrolled at least half time for the Spring 2021 term. NIU will use federal criteria to determine eligibility and will issue $800 grants to students who have demonstrated exceptional financial need, based on income information they provided in the 2020-2021 FAFSA. Grants will be issued automatically if you qualify; you do not need to apply for the funding. Distribution of the grants will begin on March 15th to eligible students.
Federal funding eligibility for undocumented students and non-citizens falls under separate federal statute from CARES and CRRSAA. Further guidance from the current administration is pending.
Students who receive this money can use the funds for any component of their cost of attendance or emergency costs caused by COVID-19, such as food, housing, health care, mental health care or child care. Students also have the option to apply those funds directly to their Spring 2021 account balances.
As always, I appreciate your resolve and resilience through this difficult time, and I wish for you to stay safe and healthy.
Executive Vice President and Provost