Southeast students to receive $10.4 million in aid for COVID-19 relief

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Southeast Missouri State University President Dr. Carlos Vargas emailed students Friday letting them know the University will be distributing $10.4 million in direct aid to them starting on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

To ensure students receive funds quickly, they should be signed up for direct deposit by Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP), a federal stimulus package responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. A portion of the ARP provides funding to support students at institutions of higher education in covering unexpected expenses due to COVID-19. Southeast received $10.4 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III funds to distribute directly to students. This amount is based on a formula in the ARP and funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Education.

“Our students have faced many challenges during the pandemic. I am proud of the flexibility and determination they have displayed,” said Vargas in a statement posted on the University’s website. “I hope this aid will help ease some of their stress and burdens and allow our students to better focus attention on their studies and academic pursuits.”

This new round of funding will provide aid to a larger group of Southeast students than previous HEERF grants. Students who were enrolled as of Sept. 1, 2021, with the exception of those in dual credit and pre-college programs, will receive funding.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 22, funds will be distributed to students using an institutional formula that takes into account need and enrollment intensity (number of credit hours). The formula ensures as many students as possible benefit from HEERF III. Read more details about this and other COVID-19 relief funding.

Students do not need to submit an application or any additional information to receive HEERF III grants. Students are encouraged to submit direct deposit information by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to ensure timely receipt of funds. Students that are unsure if they have direct deposit set up, can follow the instructions to check their account information in their student portal. Click here for instructions on how students can submit that information.

Due to the special nature of HEERF III grants to provide immediate relief for financial needs outside of tuition and fees, the funds will not be applied to outstanding charges on a student account.

This is the third round of HEERF aid higher education institutions have received and is unique in that more Southeast students will receive aid. The first two rounds of student grants were limited to students who were Title IV eligible. In HEERF I, Southeast distributed $3.4 million in direct aid to students in May and July 2020. HEERF II resulted in an additional $3.4 million in block grants to students in March 2021.

Read Carlos Vargas’ letter to students that was emailed on Friday, Sept. 17.

As of Sept. 17, 2021

Dear Students,

Over the last 18 months the University has been able to provide direct aid to many students who have experienced significant challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance was made possible through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) I and II. Information on new assistance (HEERF III) for students is below.

As you may know, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a federal stimulus package responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. A portion of the ARP provides funding to support students at institutions of higher education in covering unexpected expenses due to COVID-19. Southeast received $10.4 million in HEERF III funds to distribute directly to students. This amount is based on a formula in the ARP and funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Education.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 22, funds will be distributed to students, with the exception of dual credit and pre-college, using an institutional formula that takes into account need and enrollment intensity (number of credit hours) as of Sept. 1, 2021. The formula ensures as many students as possible benefit from HEERF III. To view more details about this and other COVID-19 relief funding, visit Student Financial Services COVID Relief page.

You do not need to do anything to receive these funds. However, a couple of notes:

  • To ensure you receive your funds quickly, make sure you have signed up for direct deposit. You will need to sign-up for direct deposit by Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. to receive your funds in this manner. Please note that once distribution begins, it can take 2-3 days for the funds to show up in your account.
  • If you are not set-up for direct deposit, Student Financial Services will mail a check to the permanent residence address on file for you.
  • International students, we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit otherwise a check may be mailed to the permanent address in your home country.
  • HEERF III funds are not like other refunds or financial aid. Funds will not be applied to any outstanding charges on your account.

It is my sincere hope that this aid will help ease some of the stress, burdens, and other challenges many of you have faced during the pandemic.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we continue to navigate the pandemic. Good luck in your studies this semester.

Sincerely,

Dr. Carlos Vargas
Southeast President

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