SDSU to give $3 million in COVID-19 relief to students


J. Michael Bertsch, Managing Editor (He/Him)

Three million dollars in federal funding will be distributed to students with “high financial need” over the next week.

South Dakota State University received federal money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be distributed to students affected by COVID-19. This is the second wave of CARES Act dollars to be distributed by the university, the first being in May and June of 2020.

However, according to Vice Pres. of Student Affairs Michaela Willis, this second wave of CARES Act dollars has more strict guidelines for who will receive money.

“The difference this time is that within the bill, it did specifically state that [the money] needed to go to students with high financial need,” Willis said. “So that is very different than the first round where we could have you fill out a short application and receive your allocation of CARES dollars.”

The university’s distribution plan will provide full-time undergraduate students who receive Pell Grants or are close to “Pell Grant range” $1500. Part-time students in the same category will receive $750, and students with an expected family contribution (EFC) between $5,000 and $12,119 will receive $500 for full-time students and $250 for part-time students.

There are roughly 2,600 SDSU students eligible for CARES Act dollars from SDSU, and the administration is hoping to have money out to students within the coming days.

“At this point in time … we’re hoping to have all $3 million distributed yet this week,” Willis said during the March 1 Students’ Association meeting. “We will be sending out an email to students … that lets them know that they will be receiving that disbursement.”

Other updates from the 03/01 Students’ Association meeting:

“Rabbit Readers,” a student-run book club at SDSU, has been approved as an official student organization

Next week, the Senate will discuss Resolution 20-26-R, which voices the Students’ Association’s support for student access to the Wellness Center during the summer term