Students - May 5, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope this message finds you well and relaxing a bit after exams. I mentioned two weeks ago that we expected $5,382,130 to come to our campus from the CARES Act, with half of that amount ($2,691,065) strictly for emergency assistance to students. I am pleased to say we now have access to the emergency student assistance funds and a better idea of how we will be allowed to disburse these funds to our undergraduate and graduate students.  

The following federal guidance was used to determine eligibility to receive funds: 

·         Only students who filed a FAFSA for the 2019-20 year are eligible; DACA students, international students, and others who did not file a FAFSA are not eligible.

·         In addition to filing a FAFSA, undergraduates and graduate students must be degree seeking and have been enrolled through the end of the Spring 2020 semester; three exceptions to the degree-seeking requirement at Winthrop are Counseling and Development Certificate, Dietetics Internship, and Winthrop Think College.

·         Per Department of Education guidance, graduate students must be enrolled in campus-based programs; therefore, those enrolled in Winthrop’s 100% online programs are not eligible for this funding.

Based on the above, 3,835 students are eligible for emergency assistance. For Pell-eligible undergraduates, the amount of the assistance will be $750 per student. Non-Pell-eligible undergraduates will receive $550, the same amount that will go to eligible graduate students. These emergency assistance grants are being disbursed directly to students regardless of their account balances with the university. These funds have been processed, and direct deposits/checks will be distributed later this week. 

Students who have not graduated, who did not file a FAFSA, but had expenses related to COVID-19, and wish to file a FAFSA before June 30, 2020, may do so and submit a CARES appeal for consideration.  Submitting a FAFSA/appeal does not guarantee funding.

Students should contact the Financial Aid Office if they have questions about their eligibility for CARES Act emergency funds or to inquire about submitting a FAFSA or about the appeal process.

As to the other half of the federal CARES Act funding, we have applied for it and await access to the funds. We intend for the money to be used to cover some of our COVID-19 costs, such as technology to support on-line instruction and employees working from home; facilities cleaning aligned with CDC guidelines; and campus security, among others. 

We know COVID-19 has stretched the finances of many of our students and their families, and it is my sincere hope that the funds distributed today, as well as the room, board and parking reimbursements already applied to student accounts and distributed, will help those impacted get by until the economy improves. As we continue to learn more about additional federal and state funds related to COVID-19, I will keep you apprised. Thank you for your patience.  


George W. Hynd
Interim President