JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) - Jacksonville State University officially reopened Monday. That night, administrators hosted a town hall meeting online to answer questions and concerns as they prepared to have on-campus classes in the fall.
One of the main topics of discussion was the CARES Act and the funds earmarked for students.
The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is $12.56 billion in federal grant money that will be distributed to institutions based on student enrollment numbers. Federal law requires at least 50% of the funds given to institutions be allocated to their students.
The money will not be taxed and does not have to be paid back.
According to the Department of Education website, Jacksonville State University will be given a $6,050,640; half of that must be given to students.
The CARES Act gives universities like JSU the power to decide which students will qualify for the funding.
JSU administrators announced Monday night that they will award all their students, including those in graduate school, a piece of the pot.
Senior VP for finance, Jim Brigham, said the Department of Education does exclude some students.
“Any student that was completely online, any DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students and any international students. Everyone’s going to get something as long as they qualified to receive it,” Brigham explained.
Brigham said the university planned to use the other half of the money to expand online technology and training for staff.