by Robin Kemp

About 6,000 students at Clayton State University who are suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19 are getting help.

The university says it got $6.1 million in American Rescue Plan funds, which it will use to cover any current account balances for the Fall 2021 semester.

Dr. T. Ramon Stuart, Clayton State’s new president, said, “The pandemic was financially difficult for many of our students. It is our mission to help them reach their educational goals. Unfortunately, sometimes all that is hindering them from continuing their journey is a few hundred dollars. The emergency grant funds that we were able to obtain will help keep many of our students on the path to reaching their potential.”

Eligible students don’t have to do anything to clear their balances–the funds have been credited to their accounts on August 2, according to the university. If you are a Clayton State student who was eligible for the emergency assistance, you should have heard directly from the university about the amount that was credited to your account.

Another $4 million has been allocated for Spring 2022. In addition, more than $607,000 in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds helped wipe out the outstanding balances of 693 students dating from March 2020.

“There is no doubt that our students have been impacted throughout this year and will continue to be, due to the pandemic,” said Dr. Stephen Schultheis, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success. He said the funds “provide a significant relief in what is often one of the most challenging obstacles, which is paying their tuition.”

Besides financial aid, Schultheis said, the university “plans to help students academically and socially, as well as providing mental health support. We are here for our students.”

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