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Universities splitting stimulus money with students as part of the CARES Act

Some college students are financially struggling during this time.
Some college students are financially struggling during this time.(WTOC)
Updated: Apr. 15, 2020 at 5:59 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Some college students are financially struggling during this time.

And many are not eligible for a stimulus check from the government. But students are expected to receive some money through their universities.

By the end of the week, SCAD is expected to receive $8.2 million split between its Savannah and Atlanta campuses. It’s part of the federal CARES Act.

While SCAD buildings are closed across town, classes continue online for their more than 14,000 students.

While students appreciate why it had to happen. Some say it’s been a struggle.

“I personally find it a little difficult to navigate through the online courses because I’m technologically challenged and also this is the first time I’ve been taking classes fully online and it’s just like a lot of things going on," said Pink a SCAD junior.

According to Scott Linzey, SCAD’s vice president for student financial services, the CARES Act requires half of the money go directly to students. For example, they will pay approximately 1,000 student workers lost wages.

“We’re working very quickly, even as you and I speak right now, to get credits onto those students’ accounts so that they will be paid in full even though they are not working any hours this quarter," said Linzey.

While student workers were grateful for the funds, the remaining 13,000 students will have to make a formal request by email explaining why they need the money. The university will then look at those case by case.

“Hopefully we’re in a position where we can evaluate each individual student’s requests and meet their need where they are and be in a position to grant that request within the next two to three weeks.”

Despite this effort, some students feel it won’t help everyone. Pink says he’d like to see a reimbursement of fees like some other schools are doing.

“Even though SCAD has made this option available for students it still doesn’t negate the validity in our demand for monetary compensation on the fees that we paid for and that not utilized.”

As for the remaining half of the federal funds, Linzey said SCAD can spend it on programs that benefit students like software and more.

Also, for students frustrated by SCAD’s distance learning program, Linzey says the university understands and will allow students who complete the semester to re-take the class in-person at a later date – for free.

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