Whether it’s a need to buy technology upgrades or the stress of losing a job, COVID-19 has had a financial impact on many New Mexico State University students. Through the CARES Act, NMSU received $7 million for emergency financial aid grants for students.
Almost 5,700 students in the NMSU system have received funds from the CARES Act, with an average award of $500. Funding is still available, and students are eligible to apply for CARES Act funding through NMSU if they meet three criteria: eligible to receive federal financial aid, not in an online program and attended classes in the spring 2020 semester.
“It is very important to encourage all eligible students to apply because we accounted for them when the award amounts were determined,” said Vandeen McKenzie, director of financial aid. “The funds were identified by Congress to assist eligible students who were impacted by the disruption on campus due to COVID-19. The funds are here to assist all eligible students and no student should think that by applying they are taking funds away from someone else. The funds are being made available to all eligible students and they should take advantage of it.”
Dean of Students Ann Goodman said weekly emails are sent to students to remind them to apply for funding and inform them of other resources available. Students can apply for CARES Act funding at https://fa.nmsu.edu/cares-emergency-request/.
“Many students are struggling with unanticipated expenses related to a loss in a full or part-time job as well as needs to upgrade technology such as laptop computers, phones, internet access – all while paying for groceries, rent, etc.,” Goodman said.
Students who are not eligible for CARES Act funding can apply for Aggie Emergency Funding at https://deanofstudents.nmsu.edu/student-emergency-funding-request-form/, which is supported by NMSU Foundation donors and the Associated Students of NMSU. This fund is only available for Las Cruces campus students. Donations are still being accepted for this fund at https://mas.nmsu.edu/emergency.
The Office of Student Assistance Services facilitates the Aggie Emergency Funding application process, and Goodman said more than 65 individuals scheduled meetings and 15 of them received financial relief.
In addition to technology materials, students also need assistance with food, housing, healthcare and childcare costs.
To view specific information about the CARES Act funding visit https://nmsu.edu/coronavirus/CARES-act-funding.html. The webpage details how award amounts were determined, number of students awarded and the total amount awarded, and will be updated every 45 days as required by the U.S. Department of Education.