SAN MARCOS, Texas - Texas State University has launched the Bobcat Cares program to provide $30 million in assistance to eligible students.
The program will provide funds directly to currently enrolled and eligible students with COVID-19 related expenses, emergency grants to all students enrolled in summer courses, pro-rated refunds of certain spring semester charges, and a new scholarship to cover fees and tuition costs for fall 2020.
Currently enrolled full-time and part-time students can apply starting Monday, April 27 for funding to offset expenses incurred related to housing, food, and technology and course materials.
The $30 million includes over $15 million in federal emergency funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act. The CARES allocation will help Texas State students deal with the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 crisis and assist with the costs of attending college by providing money directly to them.
“For many of our students, the financial insecurity brought on by COVID-19 is an overwhelming burden,” said Texas State University President Denise Trauth in a release. “I want to thank the members of our Texas Congressional delegation for their support of the CARES Act and the help it is providing our students. Our goal is to get this money to them as quickly as possible to help meet their immediate needs so they can focus on continuing their education at Texas State.”
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!
Students can complete a brief online application showing their need for the funds. The emergency grants are based on student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, and the funding is not tied to existing financial aid programs such as the Pell grant. The money will be distributed directly to students as quickly as possible, says the university.
“I want our students and their families to know their safety is our top priority, and we are just as committed to helping them gain financial security in these very uncertain times. Texas State will do everything in our power to support our students during this difficult time so that they can continue to pursue the education and careers they desire,” Trauth said.
Texas State has also identified $5 million to provide all students enrolled in funded summer courses a one-time emergency grant equal to $50 per credit hour up to $600 across both summer sessions. The grant funding will be applied as credits to student accounts to reduce the cost of summer courses. Texas State says that since Summer I courses will all be held remotely, fees for the Student Recreation Center, Student Health Center, transportation services, and the LBJ Student Center will not be charged.
For students currently enrolled this spring, the university is issuing more than $10 million in pro-rated refunds and credits for on-campus housing for those who moved from university residence halls, parking fees, and dining. In addition, students employed through the Federal and State Work-Study programs who have been unable to work onsite or remotely will receive emergency grants.
To support students enrolling in the fall 2020 semester, the university created the new Bobcats to Bobcats scholarship fund with a goal of providing $1 million to help students pay for tuition and fees as they continue their education.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.