The University of Denver set aside $2 million for need-based emergency aid to support graduate and undergraduate students whose financial conditions changed abruptly during the year. We added $2.7 million in additional financial aid for undergraduate students entering in the fall and launched the Crimson Forever Program at the graduate level, giving substantial scholarships to DU undergraduate seniors that wanted to continue on into graduate school at DU.
Like many colleges and universities, DU has requested and received an allocation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. This assistance enabled the University to help offset the unexpected expenses some students experienced related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
To qualify for assistance from the fund, students had to be currently enrolled in spring in on-campus programs, have submitted a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or be eligible to do so, and not be in default on a federal student loan or owe money on a federal student grant. Unfortunately, federal regulations prohibited us from awarding the CARES fund to international students, DACA/undocumented students and students enrolled in programs that are always taught entirely online (even when the campus access is restricted).
Priority consideration was given to students with the greatest need. The University did direct outreach to more than 8,555 students that funding was available if they met the criteria above. On May 22, 2020 the University sent nearly 90% of the available funds to 1,376 students who met the May 17th deadline, and 82% of the recipients were in the priority need category that we defined as a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) expected family need contribution below $8,364 or an undergraduate unmet need level of greater than $6,000. On June 24th the University distributed the remaining 10% of the $2,313,135 total available funds to 212 students for a total of 1,587 recipients.