Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) announced today it will distribute cash grants totaling $319,000 to all campus-based students affected during the COVID-19 pandemic from funds made available in the federal stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act.
“This crisis has created a level of added anxiety and stress, disrupting the lives of our students in ways we cannot imagine,” said Dottie King Ph.D. president. “Which is why we are making the intentional decision to distribute this money to as many students as possible within the guidelines set forth by the government.”
All campus-based undergraduate and graduate students enrolled as of March 2020 may be eligible to receive a grant of $700 from the SMWC Emergency Student Relief Fund. The funds, which were made possible through the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, are designed to provide relief to students throughout the nation who were forced to leave their campuses midsemester because of the pandemic. Students enrolled in online and hybrid programs are not eligible.
King said, “Being a Woods student means being part of a family. It is both a responsibility and an honor to care for these members of our family, and I am glad that we will be able to alleviate some of the burden this situation has created for their lives.”
A total of 451 campus-based students were notified about procedures to apply for funding, which includes making an official request to the College through an online form. Grants will be distributed directly to students for technology or loss due to disruption of child-care, housing and health care. Funds may also be used in assisting students to persist in their educational endeavors by providing for things such as books and supplies. The funds may not be used for lost tuition or campus housing.
SMWC Vice President for Finance and Administration, Jaclyn Walters said, “Our goal is to assist every student as seamlessly as possible. We are working very hard to get this done quickly to help alleviate financial worries that students may experience as they complete the semester.”
The deadline to apply for the grants is May 8, after which time the College will disburse the funds by check directly to students.
According to Walters, any remaining funds following the first round of grants will be allocated to students with the greatest need during a second round. Walters added that these grants will be in addition to credits the College will apply to campus students’ accounts for room and board expenses caused by the move to remote learning in March. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is Indiana’s oldest Catholic college, established in 1840. SMWC is listed among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and was second in the nation to add distance education programming in 1973.