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New Aid Available for UMD Students Facing Pandemic-related Financial Hardships

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

By Maryland Today Staff

Flowers on UMD campus

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

The Office of Student Financial Aid opened the process yesterday for eligible students to apply for new funds awarded to the University of Maryland through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The University of Maryland is encouraging eligible Terps to apply for new federal funds for students experiencing financial distress due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

UMD has received $32.8 million from December’s federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, with $10.7 million available to students with the most financial need.

About $6 million has been offered to students through the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and $4.7 million will be disbursed through the UMD Student COVID Relief Grant Application process.

“These federal funds continue to provide much-needed support for our students, here and across the country,” said Warren Kelley, senior associate vice president for student affairs. “Colleagues from many departments on campus have contributed to getting these funds quickly into our students' hands who need it most.”  

To be eligible to apply, a UMD student must be a U.S. citizen or someone who meets the definition of an eligible non-citizen, and an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at UMD for the Spring 2021 semester. Grants can be used 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.

Students must fill out an application and 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, and students may apply more than once. The grants will not have to be repaid.

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

Students who do not meet eligibility criteria may still seek financial assistance for emergency circumstances through the Student Crisis Fund in the Division of Student Affairs. Since March 2020, it has awarded more than $1.7 million to 3,229 students.

Schools & Departments:

Division of Student Affairs

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