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UTEP students impacted by coronavirus now able to apply for CARES Act funding

Claudia Hernandez

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is now officially able to assist students who can’t make ends meet because of the pandemic through “emergency financial assistance grants,” according to a UTEP news release.  

These grants are meant to help students pay for expenses like rent, utility bills, a desktop, a laptop, a Wi-Fi hotspot, food, groceries, medical bills and even childcare-related expenses. 

In order to qualify, a student must have filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year and received financial aid this year from UTEP. Students who haven’t filled one out are still encouraged to do so. More details on the applications process can be found here. 

The University of Texas System secured $172.5 million from the federal CARES Act for its 14 institutions in mid-April, the Texas Tribune reports. 

That funding has now trickled down to UTEP, where $12.4 million will be allocated to directly assist students that are eligible for an emergency grant. 

The U.S. Department of Education allows universities that receive funding “to use up to one half of the total funds received to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.” 

This means that up to only one half of the funding received by an institution can be used for direct emergency grants for students and the rest can go for other expenses like improving online instruction.  

El Paso Inc. recently reported that UTEP said it was expecting to receive $25 million in CARES Act funding, which is about double the amount the university recently announced for emergency grants for students, and it corresponds with federal guidelines on using these funds. 

“We hope we can return to campus soon, but as we continue to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we want all of our students to know that university faculty and staff are dedicated to supporting them through this – no matter how long it takes,” said Gary Edens, Ed.D., UTEP Vice President for Student Affairs, in a news release. “We are working hard to provide our students with the quality education and enriching experiences they’ve come to expect.” 

Students who don’t qualify for CARES Act funding for any reason can still receive assistance by UTEP’s Student Emergency Fund, the UTEP Food Pantry, and other resources. To learn more, click here

Prospector Staff may be reached at [email protected]

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UTEP students impacted by coronavirus now able to apply for CARES Act funding