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April 29, 2021

Students receive $15M in COVID-19 emergency relief funding

More than $15M was awarded to 16,729 students in the second round of MSU’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. This second round of funding adds to the more than $14.9M in funding administered to 14,118 eligible MSU students in May 2020.


Like last year’s emergency funding, this second round of monetary relief offered emergency financial aid grants to students struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds could be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs associated with the pandemic, such as food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.


COVID-19 has been incredibly hard on our community and it has been especially taxing on our students,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to support our students most in need with this second round of emergency funding and provide them with additional resources to continue their Michigan State education.”


Students were eligible to receive a block or a variable grant, regardless of any outstanding charges on their MSU accounts. All students who applied for a variable grant or received a block grant were notified of their status through their MSU email; 94% of recipients were undergraduates.


Eligible students included those enrolled for the spring 2021 semester with a valid FAFSA on file, which determined financial need for block grants and ensured compliance with federal rules for fund eligibility. 


Based on their need, students received $1,000, $800 or $500 in block grants. Over 11,000 undergraduate students were awarded this funding. Undergraduate students were also allowed to request up to $400 in variable grants, but those who previously received block grants were limited to the lesser of their request or their block grant amount plus $400. 4,408 variable grants were awarded to undergraduates.

Approximately $12M — or 80% — of total available student grant funds was dedicated to undergraduate students. All but $1.7M of that was distributed as block grants, which were awarded to students most in need. 


Graduate and professional students were required to submit online applications for grants. 870 applications were approved by the Graduate School, resulting in more than $3M in grants. Graduate and professional students were allowed to request up to $5,000. 

By: RiAn Jackson

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