‘It kind of took a weight off my shoulder’: UNCG offers direct funds to students in need amid pandemic

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — UNC Greensboro is offering direct payments to students hit hard by the pandemic. 

The university is distributing about $26 million to students, made available to universities as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). 

Starting on Monday, all students will be able to apply for grants up to one thousand dollars. 

“It kind of took a weight off my shoulder,” said UNCG sophomore Logan Dean, who got an email from the university several weeks ago. “It gives more availability to focus on my studies and not worry about where my money’s going to come from and stuff like that.” 

“We know that they need money for rent. We know they need money for medical bills. We know they need money for transportation. We know they need money for books. They just need money to be students, and we want them to be able to make progress,” said Andrew Hamilton, the associate vice provost for student success and dean of undergraduate studies. “Our students, like everybody else, had their hours reduced during the pandemic. They have less money coming in.”

Hamilton said UNCG has a high number of Pell Grant students. The university uses a range of financial aid and FAFSA data to determine who needs the money first. 

“We gave it to them directly because it’s theirs because that’s the task we were given from the federal government. the other reason is we’re required by the agreement to give this portion of the dollars that we got through HEERF III to students. They were going to get this money no matter what. It was left us to figure out what’s the wisest most prudent way to do that,” Hamilton said. 

University officials also hope a $1,500 grant will help more students connect with the campus and boost graduation rates. 

“If the little thing we can do is offer some economic relief so that you can do those things, we’re so glad that we’re able to do that,” said LaFarin Meriwether, associate director of Housing and Residence Life. 

Application turnaround time is about a week for qualified students. 

You can find more details on the program here.

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