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ECU students getting more money from CARES Act

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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ADA, Okla. (KXII) - East Central University in Ada announced they’re disbursing federal grant money to students in order to counteract the financial impact of the pandemic.

Most of the money will be given out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Each ECU student who applied for federal aid with FAFSA now gets at least $500-maybe more if their application shows they need it.

“From $500 all the way up to $2,800, depending on what kind of financial needs they had,” Vice President of Student Development Brandon Hill said.

It’s over 8 million dollars and it’s the third grant from the CARES Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Some money goes to the university, and some goes directly to students.

Mya Hooser said so far, the grants have been a big help.

“I was an RA when COVID started and it kind of threw a wrench in my job,” Hooser said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to come back to campus and work after spring break. And so I was in a bit of a financial struggle. Receiving those first two grants was really nice, and then not returning as an RA this year, having to work two -one off campus and one on campus job- to pay my bills because I’m living off campus, it was definitely a big big relief.”

Hill said for many students, this money is the difference between completing a degree and having to drop out.

“I think a lot of our students are using it for food related and childcare related costs while they go to school.” Hill said. “I had a student just a week ago tell me that she said, ‘with these funds, it’s going to mean I can finish the semester and I can come back.” <

Hooser said she’ll be using her money responsibly.

“Paying my bills, maybe putting some of it in savings to pay for grad school next year,” Hooser said.

Hill said funds for the university will be used specifically for COVID costs so they can provide masks and virus testing to students, and even deliver meals to students who are quarantined.

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