The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our world in more ways than one: physical health, mental health, economics, jobs, personal finances, and life as usual. In order to meet the needs of our campus community during this historic time, Charleston Southern University established four areas of financial assistance for residential and commuter students experiencing financial strain due to the far-reaching impacts of this crisis.
CARES Act Student Grants
Through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, CSU received funds designed to assist students who experienced a financial hardship due to campus closure. These funds are designed to assist with eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.
These funds will be distributed in two phases. First, all Pell-eligible students who were not fully online prior to the pandemic will receive an automatic grant in the near future. Eligible CSU students will receive notification via email to their BucMail account.
The second phase will include a grant application process for students who did not receive sufficient funding to cover eligible expenses through phase one. CSU will begin accepting applications after the first phase is complete, and students will be notified of the application process at that time.
A prorated credit will be given to currently registered residential students for the Spring 2020 semester. The amount will be calculated based on actual food service costs eliminated from the date the student vacated the residence hall—in most cases, Monday, March 16, 2020. The amount of the rebate will vary based on the amount of financial aid received to cover room and board charges. There is no need to apply for these rebates as student accounts will be adjusted in the coming days. Recent graduates will receive a refund check for any credit balance.
While students have incurred expenses as a result of moving off campus, CSU has and will also continue to experience significant loss of funding. However, CSU is dedicated to helping our students and will offer a partial room rebate to residential students for the Spring 2020 semester. The amount of these rebates will vary based on financial aid awards and other factors. The room rebates will be adjusted onto individual student accounts in the near future, and graduates will receive a refund check, so there is no need to apply.
COVID-19 Student Emergency Care Fund
This fund will be used for students who demonstrate financial needs for food, housing, medicine, travel, education-related expenses, including scholarship support and other needs the Student Care Committee deems appropriate. Personnel from student life, spiritual life and development departments head up the Student Care Committee and will evaluate all needs. Please note that this fund, which was developed through the generosity of university donors, is NOT the same as the federally funded CARES Act Student Grants. For more information and to apply, go to charlestonsouthern.edu/covid-care. Anyone interested in donating to assist CSU students during this time of great need may do so online at charlestonsouthern.edu/covid-care-gift.
Frequently asked questions regarding these programs may be found here: https://www.charlestonsouthern.edu/csu-announces-covid-19-student-relief-programs/#faqs.