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Financial aid grant money dispersed to students

YEJIN KANG / ANTELOPE STAFF Students are encouraged to visit the Financial Aid office if they have any questions regarding the HEERF III grant.

As a result of the American Rescue Plan, nearly $5.7 million is being dispersed to all UNK students. Students could accept the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III grant money on “MyBlue” or wait for UNK to refund the amount.

The grant is meant to ensure postsecondary education continues during the pandemic.

“These grants that were provided to institutions of higher education to disperse to students were a way to kind of get money into the hands of a population of Americans and non-Americans and the group of people that were here in the United States that were impacted by the pandemic but didn’t get any direct funding through some of the other traditional ways that the government was dispersing aid,” said Mary Sommers, the director of Financial Aid.

In May, the ARP sent out $36 billion to postsecondary educational institutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and make up for lost expenses due to the pandemic.

The U.S. CARES Act/HEERF distributed about $3.8 million to UNK students in spring of 2020. However, Sommers said some of the spring funds transferred to parents instead of the UNK students who were dependents or did not make enough money to file taxes.

There were also restrictions that made online and international students ineligible for funds from the spring grants.

For the HEERF III grants, however, eligibility has been extended to just under 6,000 students.

“It’s really any enrolled student that is in a legitimate degree program,” Sommers said. “We essentially extracted from the student information system. We identified all eligible students and awarded them according to the approved policy by the chancellor and the cabinet.”

According to UNK Communications, during the week of Sept. 27, $1,500 was distributed to full-time Pell Grant students and $375 to $1,125 was distributed to less than full-time students. The second round of grants, ranging from $300 to $950, is being dispersed to the rest of the UNK student population this month, depending on the amount of credit hours they are enrolled in.

The student body had until Oct. 5 to accept their grant money on MyBlue.

Even if students miss the deadline, they will still receive funds from the HEERF III grant.

“Students will get the money one way or another,” Sommers said. “It just depends on how they chose to receive the funding.”

For questions regarding the HEERF III grant, students can call the Office of Financial Aid at 308-865-8520 or email

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