International, DACA, undocumented students become eligible to apply for emergency financial aid in November

Emergency financial aid will be distributed to eligible students as grants to cover COVID-19-related costs such as housing, food, transportation and health care. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

USF started disbursing $52 million in emergency student funding to eligible students as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), and starting in November, international, Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DACA) and undocumented students will be eligible to apply.

The funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Education, will be distributed as emergency financial aid grants to students, which will either be deposited in their university account or delivered as a cash grant. Eligible students will be awarded up to $2,000 grants to cover COVID-19-related expenses, including housing, food, transportation and health care, according to the Office of Financial Aid’s website.

In total, 29,200 students are eligible to receive the emergency financial aid grants. Around 4,527 students have received a total of $8.8 million from the ARP pot, as of Sept. 30.

Undergraduate and degree-seeking students enrolled at least half-time will be given priority to receive the grant. If a student hasn’t been contacted but wants to be considered for the grant, they need to contact the Office of Financial Aid.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents must have filed the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered. 

While international, DACA and undocumented students are usually left out of the eligibility requirements, they will be considered for the grant starting in November. Those students will need to apply via the AwardSpring scholarship application in Oasis. 

Graduate students will also be considered to receive the grant once funding is awarded to the undergraduate priority group.

Eligible students must fill out a survey in Oasis indicating they’ve had expenses related to the pandemic. Students must respond to the offer within two weeks after receiving an email from the Office of Financial Aid, or they will automatically be disqualified.

The distribution process began Sept. 13 and will continue throughout the fall semester until funds are depleted. Students might be awarded in the spring semester if funds are available.