UTSA is set to receive $29.7 million from the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency relief funds are meant to support the university and its students during a pandemic that has led to spikes in unemployment and left millions of Americans in financial crisis.
Half of the grant, $14,828,444 million, is required to be used for emergency financial aid grants for students.
“Funding will be awarded to help students with cost of attendance expenses, such as food, housing, health care, technology and course materials for online education, child care, and to students with income losses,” according to a UTSA Today article.
UTSA is in the process of determining how best to quickly and effectively distribute the funds to students. Once the university has the funds, it will inform students of an application process to request financial aid.
Applications will be reviewed on a “case-by-case basis,” according to the university. The university expects to deliver that information to students within the next week.
UTSA will determine how to utilize the other half of the emergency funds, $14,828,444, in consultation with the federal government, the state government and the UT System.
“We are awaiting clarity on the parameters by which the federal government will permit the use of these funds to support operational expenses associated with the university’s response to Covid-19,” Chief Communications Officer Joe Izbrand said regarding the half of the grant which the university has more discretion over. “Of course, we always welcome input from our student community.”
In an email to faculty and staff on April 17, President Dr. Taylor Eighmy more explicitly indicated how the second half of the nearly $30 million grant would be used.
“The infusion of nearly $30M in CARES Act funds — split more or less equally between our students in need and institutional cost recovery — will be most welcome when it becomes available, but it will not be sufficient to address likely significant revenue shortfalls beginning this fall,” Eighmy said.
UTSA is one of many universities across the country dealing with tremendous revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic.