Students - April 21, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you and your families are well. I am writing to give you an update on a couple of important matters. 

First, I am pleased to share information on housing, dining and parking fee adjustments. Thanks to the good work of a team of individuals from residence life, finance, information technology, and financial aid, fee adjustments were made to impacted student accounts last week. As mentioned previously, some fee adjustments would result in a credit to students’ accounts if they owed the university, while other fee adjustments would result in a refund if students’ accounts were current.

The process provided $3.7 million in fee adjustments to student accounts and impacted 2,960 students. You may read more about the process in this news release.

Secondly, I want to share with you what we know so far about the CARES Act and state funding and what that funding will mean for Winthrop.

When the initial Department of Education guidance on CARES came out on April 9, we learned the amount our institution could expect ($5,382,130) with half of that amount ($2,691,065) strictly going toward emergency assistance to students. We are still awaiting clarity about how we will be allowed to disperse these funds, but we know that this assistance must be provided to degree-seeking students, both graduate and undergraduate, enrolled this spring. We submitted our certificate of funding agreement to the Department of Education last week, and we are waiting for access to the funds.

We know our students have been impacted in truly unimaginable ways. Hopefully these resources will abate some of the financial stress associated with COVID-19. Conversations among senior leadership have focused on the most equitable and fastest way to distribute these funds.  We have a plan based on undergraduate students receiving funds based on their status as Pell-eligible or non-Pell-eligible, per the limited Department of Education guidance received. Graduate students also will receive funds.

As to the other half of the funding, it is to be used to cover COVID-19 costs, but again we have no specifics. We eagerly await more guidance here.

States also are receiving funds through CARES, and we know that any state-allocated funds will be distributed at Governor Henry McMaster’s discretion to higher education institutions (public and private). We have no information yet on any of these funds and how they may impact us.

I wish that I had more details to share with you. I will continue to provide information as we receive it and make decisions at the senior leadership level in coordination with the Board of Trustees.



George W. Hynd, Ed.D.
Interim President