Additional $1.9M in COVID relief grants available to UNK students

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney students disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive grants as part of a second allocation of $1.9 million in federal funds.

On Jan. 14, the U.S. Department of Education announced an additional $21.1 billion available to higher education institutions to serve students and ensure learning continues as part of the second round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, called the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (2021).

With the new round of funding, UNK will begin distributing $500 grants to over 2,000 qualified students to use for any part of their cost of attendance. Students with exceptional need are prioritized, based on the expected family contribution calculated from the FAFSA.

Students who are qualified will receive an email notification from the Office of Financial Aid. The remaining $900,000 will be offered beginning March 1 through an application process to students continuing in financial difficulty.

In August, UNK finished distributing the first round of CARES Act funds. In total, 1,836 students received $1.96 million in 2020.

“These grant funds have provided important financial support that has helped many students stay enrolled and on track for graduation as they had planned, despite the many challenges they’ve faced from additional expenses, lost wages or pressures from family obligations,” said Kelly Bartling, vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Marketing. “We will communicate to students that these new opportunities are available to finance their investment in a UNK education.”

Students with questions about the program and their eligibility can email or call 308-865-8520.

As part of UNK’s responsibility to comply with federal regulations, the distribution reports for both rounds of HEERF funds are documented on a special website, at Look under “CARES Act Reports.” This webpage also is the source for ongoing updates to the university’s response to COVID-19.