CRRSAA distributes emergency funds to OU students

CRRSAA+funds+went+out+sometime+around+Feb.+12+through+direct+deposit+or+a+check+in+the+mail.

Photo Courtesy of Kilgore College

CRRSAA funds went out sometime around Feb. 12 through direct deposit or a check in the mail.

Bridget Janis, Managing Editor

Back in October, Oakland University distributed the CARES Act grant, which was $500 for eligible students. Through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA), students were able to receive an additional $500 or $1,200 this winter semester.

On Dec. 27, 2020 the CRRSAA allowed for about $22.9 billion in COVID-19 relief funding for higher education. This was known as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds ll (HEERF ll). The funding was distributed directly to students and some in tuition costs. 

OU gave out about $6.8 million during the first relief fund, they gave out a similar amount at about $6.9 million this time around.

“It’s really important because it’s showing both the federal government and institutions of higher education are committed to supporting college students,” Dawn Aubry, vice president for enrollment management said. “And making sure college remains affordable, especially during this pandemic.”

The funds were determined based on the financial need of students based on their FAFSA applications. In order to be eligible, student’s FAFSA must have been on file as of Feb. 2, 2021, they must be seeking a graduate or undergraduate degree and must be taking at least one credit hour for the winter 2021 semester as of Feb. 9, 2021. 

The awards were split up into two different categories. Students that received $1,200 were full time and taking a minimum of 12 credit hours for undergraduate students, or eight credit hours for graduate students or nine credit hours for OUWB medical students.

Students that are eligible for the $500 are part-time students, that were taking less than the credit hours listed above and still met the general criteria. 

“The grant alleviates some of the hardship students are facing in the midst of the pandemic,” Aubry said. “These challenges families are facing have been ongoing, so it’s important to show our commitment to ensuring that they have access to additional resources and support. It’s also important [students] recognize that we want them to be able to complete their degree, and we know that these funds will help.”

The funds were automatically distributed to students’ bank accounts by the non-payroll direct deposit. If a student was unable to set up direct deposit, the university sent out checks in the mail.

The grants given do not need to be repaid and were sent out around Feb. 12, 2021. 

“It was important to us to get them the funds as soon as possible,” Aubry said. “Obviously, direct deposit can be awarded to students within a few days and mailing a check can take a little longer.”

Students who can not get the CRRSAA funding and do have financial struggles can apply for assistance from the donor-funded Student Emergency Relief Fund. This fund is more of a case-by-case scenario, still the award can be up to $500.

To seek out this service, contact the Student Financial Services at [email protected] or (248) 370-2550. Alternatively, students can reach out to the Dean of Students at [email protected]