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UMSL to award $10.8M in federal pandemic relief grants to needy students

The emergency federally funded grants help students dealing with food or housing insecurity, medical expenses, childcare or lack of access to technology
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — The University of Missouri-St. Louis said Thursday it will award $10.8 million this school year to students facing financial difficulties related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The emergency federally funded grants help students dealing with food or housing insecurity, medical expenses, childcare or lack of access to technology or other materials needed to continue their education, officials said.

UMSL will distribute the funding through emergency grants from the federal American Rescue Plan’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III, the most recent federal Covid relief program for colleges and universities, officials said.

The university said its Office of Student Financial Aid already has awarded more than $4 million, which went to about 2,450 UMSL students, according to Mitch Hess, director of student financial services, the college said in a release. UMSL plans to distribute $5.4 million total in the fall semester and another $5.4 million in the spring semester.

The amount each student receives is based on their 2021-2022 federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form, which students can complete online. Based on the information students provide, the university will award a grant of $2,500, $1,500 or $500, officials said. Students can only receive one grant per semester.

“The amount is based on what's called their EFC, or ‘expected family contribution’ from their FAFSA,” Hess stated. “Students that have zero EFC – think of a full Pell-eligible student – students that have the most need, get the biggest dollar amount.”

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.