The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has announced it will continue to disburse relief funding to university students amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
As of June, UTSA has distributed more than $11.7 million in relief funds as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The fund was created under the CARES Act to offer emergency financial aid grants for students experiencing financial hardship resulting from the pandemic. HEERF affords eligible students financial assistance to apply toward tuition, food, housing, technology, health care, child care, and any education-related expenses.
More than $35 million in HEERF aid grants have been dispersed, with more than 50,000 individual awards benefiting students struggling to keep up with their expenses during the pandemic.
“Even as we emerge from the pandemic and enjoy a significantly improved public health outlook, we recognize that our Roadrunner students and their families continue to experience unmet financial needs from COVID impacts,” Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, told UTSA Today.
Substantial aid for students came about as universities and colleges across Texas grappled with the financial stress resulting from the pandemic, with campuses having to contend with safely reopening, and addressing drops in enrollment among students with basic needs insecurity. The CARES Act, and subsequently the HEERF aid, has served as an unprecedented federal investment toward addressing the students most adversely impacted by COVID.