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More Students Eligible for Latest Federal Pandemic Aid

International, DACA, Undocumented Students Can Apply for Help With Food, Rent, Health Care Expenses

By Maryland Today Staff

UMD campus

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

A new round of federal funding is available for Terps experiencing financial distress due the COVID-19 pandemic, with international, undocumented and DACA students now eligible to apply.

A third round of millions in federal aid is available for University of Maryland students experiencing financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this time with broader eligibility standards.

UMD has received a third round of federal emergency relief funding from the American Rescue Plan, which was signed by President Joe Biden in March and allocates $29.3 million for Terp students.

While the previous two rounds of funding were limited to U.S. citizens or those who met the definition of an eligible noncitizen, students who are international, undocumented or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status can now apply. To qualify, students must have been enrolled on or after March 13, 2020, and use the grants for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency expenses that arise due to the pandemic, such as food, housing, health and child care, tuition and course-material purchases, and technology-related needs.

Funding will be disbursed to students through the 2020-21 and 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the UMD Student COVID Relief Grant Application process.

“I am incredibly grateful that we can continue to provide support to our UMD students who have been significantly impacted by the financial implications of the pandemic,” said Warren Kelley, senior associate vice president for student affairs. “The inclusion of our DACA, international and undocumented students in this federal aid package will help bring much-needed support to our entire student community.”

In the UMD grant application process, which will remain open until all funds are used, students must provide a statement about how the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unexpected financial hardship. Grant award amounts will vary based upon student need and funding availability, with the goal to provide as many grants as possible; students may apply more than once. The grants will not have to be repaid, and can be used to cover any outstanding balance on a UMD student bill. 

The Office of Student Financial Aid will review and release decisions via email seven to 10 business days after receipt of an application. If approved, students can view the award using the student financial aid portal. Applicants are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit to allow faster access.

So far during the pandemic, more than $50 million has been allocated to UMD students through federal relief funding.

“We are pleased that our students who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 are able to get support and relief using these recently available funds,” said Dawit Lemma, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid. “We encourage every student who’s eligible with qualifying expenses to complete the application as soon as they’re able.” 

Students may also seek financial assistance for emergency circumstances through the Student Crisis Fund in the Division of Student Affairs. Since March 2020, more than $1.9 million has been awarded to 3,550 students.

Schools & Departments:

Division of Student Affairs

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