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Northwestern to distribute federal student aid funds

Eligible students will receive $2,000 payment for costs related to COVID-19

Northwestern University will distribute to students more than $15 million in federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) money, which provides aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All enrolled undergraduate students who receive need-based aid this academic year, and currently enrolled PhD students and currently enrolled DMA and full-time MFA students will receive a one-time payment of $2,000. Eligible students will receive communications regarding the distribution of these funds this week.

Over 7,500 qualified students will receive the one-time payment. In alignment with guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, the University prioritized the funds for students with the greatest need, and those potentially most impacted by the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our entire campus,” said Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, vice president for student affairs. “We are grateful to be able to distribute financial assistance to those with the greatest need in our undergraduate population.”

Related: Read FAQs on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

The funds are available through the federal government’s Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and The American Rescue Plan. Students can use the emergency funds for costs that arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) and childcare.

“The challenges facing our students during the pandemic have been substantial, and we are very proud of the resilience of our graduate community of scholars,” said Kelly Mayo, dean of The Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education. “We hope this financial assistance will help ease some of the pressures facing these advanced-degree students as they continue to make extraordinary progress along their academic journeys under the difficult circumstances wrought by the pandemic.”

The funds will not be applied to existing university student balances, have no impact on student financial aid packages, and are not taxable.

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