While everyone likes a good joke, the amount of April Fools content that littered SU-Twitter on the first of the month in relation to a Cares Act that students assumed they wouldn’t receive again was nothing short of false hope for college students running low on Jag Cash everywhere. As it turns out though, maybe that April Fools jokers knew something that we didn’t at the time, because a new round of CARES Acts are indeed forthcoming by the end of month.
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that was passed into law in March of 2020. The act was created to assist with the major economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. From that $2.2 trillion, about $14 billion was given to the Office of Postsecondary Education to specifically distribute funds to students at colleges and universities.
Due to no official word being given to students as of yet, many members of the student body assumed that funding for the Cares Act must have ended, but in speaking with the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration for the university, Benjamin Pugh, this turns out to not be the case at all.
“SUBR will be providing an additional Cares Act distribution for the Spring 2022 semester for all enrolled and paid students,” said Pugh when asked whether or not the students would receive another round of Cares Acts this year.
According to Pugh, another round of Cares Acts are imminent and will be distributed to all students with paid balances and/or completed registration. In the case of students who still have an existing balance, as long as you’ve paid half of your tuition, you will still receive the funds towards your balance.
If all goes according to plan, Pugh predicts that students should start seeing funds enter their accounts around or before the end of April, just in time for the end of the year recovery.
“We needed that money. We have Springfest and everything else going on this month, plus just everyday life on top of that. Every little bit helps, and this Cares Act helps me out a lot,” said Ivian Bell, a junior social work major from Franklin, Louisiana.
With many students experiencing their own financial hardship amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Cares Acts as they have been for the past two years have provided a cushion for Southern students to fall back on as the semester reaches its semesterly apex. While Spring Break may be cut short from what we are normally used to due to us starting late following last winter’s COVID spike, students will be able to enjoy their break with some extra funds in their accounts as early as the end of the month.