Idaho’s colleges and universities are starting to carve up $18 million in federal emergency student aid.
By and large, their plans for the coronavirus aid money emphasize helping low-income students.
The money comes from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a massive federal stimulus law passed in late March.
The state’s eight public institutions will receive slightly more than $36 million in federal aid. Under the law, at least half of the money has to go directly to students who have suffered financial losses from the coronavirus outbreak.
The colleges and universities have wide latitude for handing out the money; the State Board of Education did not have to approve their plans. And the U.S. Department of Education said schools could give money to all students — or target students with greatest need.
“The only statutory requirement is that the funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care),” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in an April 9 letter to college and university presidents.
Here’s how much money Idaho’s colleges and universities have to give to students — and how they’re planning to distribute it:
Boise State University ($5.5 million). The university will use “expected family contribution” as its yardstick; that’s what the feds determine that a student should be able to put toward college, based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students will receive $500 to $675 for spring, and $150 to $350 for summer.
Idaho State University ($3.5 million). Based on their EFC, full-time students will receive $250 to $550 for spring, and $300 to $500 for fall. Part-time students will receive less. All full- and part-time students will receive at least $110 for spring, $90 for summer.
University of Idaho ($3.5 million). All students who qualify under FAFSA will receive $513 for spring semester, $320 for summer.
Lewis-Clark State College ($1 million). Students who qualify under FAFSA will receive $200 to $350 for spring, depending on their courseload. All students who qualify for federal Pell grants will receive a separate $150.
College of Western Idaho ($2 million). Students who qualify under FAFSA will receive $100 to $400 for spring and summer, depending on courseload.
North Idaho College ($1.1 million). All spring students taking six or more credits will receive $400, if they qualify under FAFSA.
College of Southern Idaho ($1 million). Depending on their EFC, full-time students will receive $150 to $400 for spring, and $150 to $300 for fall. Part-time students will receive less. All students enrolled for summer will receive $30.
College of Eastern Idaho ($500,000). Students who qualify under FAFSA will receive $200 to $400 for spring, depending on courseload.
Talk to us: If you’re an Idaho college student, we’d like to hear about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected your education and your finances. Send us an email.