April 5, 2021- Supporting Students With the Latest Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds


April 5, 2021
To: UC Santa Cruz undergraduate and graduate students
From: Richard Hughey, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, and Quentin Williams, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies
Dear students,
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, signed into law in late December, provided our campus with $28.8 million on March 17 to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic on the university and its students. Our Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will directly award $9.7 million of the CRRSAA funding to graduate and undergraduate students with exceptional need to help with expenses related to COVID-19 including tuition, housing, food, health care (including mental health care), and child care. 
Financial aid grants will be directly awarded to graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional need, for example very low expected family contribution levels or student parents with dependent children. Determinations will be made based on existing financial aid information. In most cases, additional applications or requests will not be necessary. Graduate students who appear eligible based on prior financial aid information but who did not complete an application this year will receive information by email on how to file a Declaration of Exceptional Need to confirm eligibility, a new requirement due to changes in this round of higher education relief funds.  
The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office consulted with campus leaders, and with leadership of the Student Union Assembly and the Graduate Student Association, on how best to award funds within program requirements and regulations. The minimum spring quarter award will be $1,000. Students identified for an award will receive an email in the next few days to ensure direct-deposit information is current. Money will be disbursed soon afterward. The CRRSAA awards are one-time grants that do not need to be paid back. 
Though CRRSAA funds are restricted to students eligible for federal aid, UC Santa Cruz will provide equivalent awards to students who have completed the California Dream Application. 
Any student experiencing a financial emergency, regardless of aid eligibility should contact the Slug Support team
The remaining $19.1 million will be used to cover campus expenses associated with COVID-19.  Following federal guidance, costs may include additional course offerings or sections to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements, shipping course materials to students taking remote instruction, continued technology costs supporting remote instruction, lost revenue, COVID-19 prevention such as campus vaccination services, testing services, etc.
Our thoughts are with all members of the UC Santa Cruz community as together we continue to face the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay safe, stay well, and stay connected.