Sac State to award emergency financial aid grants to students

All Title IV students are eligible


Screenshot via Zoom

Sac State President Robert Nelsen announced at a faculty town hall meeting held via Zoom that students eligible for FAFSA will receive emergency financial aid grants. The university received over $35 million in emergency federal stimulus funds granted by the federal government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luis Platero

Sacramento State will disburse financial aid grants to all Title IV students thanks to over $35 million in emergency federal stimulus funds received by the college, university President Robert Nelsen said during a faculty town hall meeting Monday.

All students who are eligible to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are Title IV students and will receive the emergency financial aid. Doctorate and masters’ students as well as undocumented students are also included.

The U.S. Department of Education excludes international students from eligibility, Nelsen said.

President Nelsen said the amount to be disbursed is still being negotiated. For students who qualify, they will receive funds automatically within a week or next week. Students should update their address in their My Sac State student center or set up for direct deposit through eRefund.

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Sac State received emergency stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27. The law appropriates about $14 billion for higher education, with about $12.5 billion to be split for emergency grants to students and money for schools’ needs amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sac State was allocated $35,734,362 in total with $17,867,181 being the minimum amount required to be awarded to students for emergency financial aid grants. According to the law, schools must award at least half of their total allocation to students. 

The methodology used to determine the amount allocated to each school was partially based on the number of students who are Pell grant recipients. Nelsen said 70% of the funds will go to students who are eligible for the Pell grant with 30% going to all other Title IV students.

According to Nelsen, some of the money will be used for refunds for housing or food; however, it cannot be used for athletics, religious purposes or scholarships.

Additional reporting by deputy news editor Chris Wong.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.