COVID-19 financial resources for graduate students
May 6, 2020
I hope this message finds you well. So many of us are under added stress as we cope with the COVID-19 crisis and suspension of on-campus operations. This stress can be particularly acute for graduate students who have carefully planned their finances only to see their plans undone by circumstances beyond their control.
I want to make certain you are aware of some financial resources available to graduate students during the COVID-19 crisis:
- The Carolina Student Impact Fund is available for graduate students who face financial challenges. If you have financial needs due to the COVID-19 situation, you can complete a request for financial assistance here. If you have other concerns not related to financial assistance but related to COVID-19, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Graduate School has initiated a program, the “Carolina Graduate Student COVID-19 Impact Program,” to help students who had arranged paid internships/practica/experiential learning/non-service fellowship opportunities in summer 2020 that have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation. The program is open to full-time, degree-seeking doctoral students in a residential program administered by The Graduate School. Awards will be made up to $5,000 on a first-come, first served basis and will be limited to three per program. Applications should be submitted to Julie Montaigne, director of fellowships, at email@example.com under the subject line “Carolina Graduate Student COVID-19 Impact Program Application.”
- Graduate students may be eligible for COVID-19 stimulus payments ($1,200 tax payer filing individually, with salary < $75,000.) Students who have been claimed as a dependent on a tax return are ineligible for the stimulus payment. The payment will be deposited into the bank account that received your 2019 tax refund.
- The CARES Act (signed into law last week) has several provisions applicable to graduate students:
- Allows institutions to continue making payments to federal work study students, even if their jobs are not available on campus due to the COVID-19 crisis. If this is your situation, you will need your supervisor to email the work-study office. Questions about this relief should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Suspends the requirement for payments and interest accrual for Federal Direct Student loans through September 30, 2020 (note: this is only for Federal Direct Student loans). If you have additional questions about loans, please email email@example.com or for general questions about available financial aid, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Council of Graduate Schools has developed a comprehensive summary of unemployment benefits that may be available to graduate students through the CARES Act: These benefits will be coordinated through the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Office of Employment Security.
- Please note that the State determines unemployment compensation benefit eligibility, not the University. We recommend that you contact the Office of Employment Security and/or apply for benefits if you think you may be eligible. You can begin the process of applying for these benefits by completing an online form.
- Please note that guidance from the NC Department of Commerce, Office of Employment Security changes from day to day, as the systems necessary to administer CARES Act provisions are developed. We recommend that you check the site periodically for updates.
Be well and stay strong.