Students will receive aid from the $19.7 million grant the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund gave Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The grant will also fund pandemic-related expenses, student programs and aid in readjusting to in-person, virtual and hybrid classes.
President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Act Plan on March 11, which includes $40 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
Kathryn Funk-Baxter, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer, said approximately $9 million has been set aside for student emergency aid.
The university previously received a $5.6 million grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a university media release from April 17, 2020.
Brandy McLelland, vice president of enrollment management, said 3,641 students received emergency aid money under the CARES Act.
“Emergency aid will continue to be awarded as needed until funds run out,” McLelland said.
Funk-Baxter said students can apply for the grants during the summer, fall and spring semesters. She said students can apply now.
To apply, students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours and prove why emergency aid is needed.
McLelland said there isn’t a deadline to apply for emergency aid. Students must apply for the term they are enrolled in.
Money from the HEERF grant will help fund student programs.
Funk-Baxter said the university will be giving away 2,500 free laptops under the LIFT program, using funds from the HEERF grant.
McLelland said about 2,000 laptops are still available.
Students must complete a digital literacy seminar before being given the laptop.
The HEERF grant will also help with course design (whether it be in-person, virtual or hybrid), technology support and student care in response to the pandemic.
$2 million will go towards paying for operational expenses on campus in response to COVID-19, like keeping additional staff for health and safety operations.