Texas State University provides $30M in assistance for students

Students across the country are suing their universities in demand of tuition and housing reimbursement and accusing universities of profiting on the coronavirus pandemic by keeping student fees.

But locally, Texas State University is offering relief money for its students. Is $30 million dollars of relief funds cheaper than a long legal battle? Or is it just the right thing to do?

As a senior at Texas State, I can personally say there is not enough money that can heal the ruined senior year memories, such as jumping in the river with my best friends in May or saying in-person goodbyes to professors who changed my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to complain if I can get reimbursed.

Texas State said in an email Thursday that it will provide $30 million in relief funds for eligible students with COVID-19 related expenses, emergency grants for students enrolled in summer courses, pro-rated refunds on certain spring semester charges and a new scholarship program to assist with free and tuition costs for the fall 2020 semester.

More than half of the emergency funding came from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARE Act.

After reading the email, I breathed a sigh of relief. My first thought was that I can finally pay rent on an apartment in San Marcos I no longer need.

I had been living at the Tree House apartments, right across the street from campus, which was perfect when school was in session on campus.

Once everything shut down, I went to find comfort at my childhood home.

Back in San Marcos, the apartment owners would not budge. I could not get out of my lease, not even buy out my lease. It was difficult to try to have someone sub-lease an apartment for three months during a pandemic.

Without a stimulus check, I was forced to accept that I would lose thousands of dollars on an empty bedroom.

At the same time, my job here as a reporter was also at risk. (Thank the heavens that we received a grant to stay afloat and keep you informed. Thank you for supporting local journalism.)

My senior year is ending in a historic financial crisis, on top of traditional student debt. To pay off my education, I will enter the workforce tainted by an economic depression.

So, yeah, I think Texas State University made the right move by providing emergency funding to offset expenses related to housing, food, technology, and course materials.

“For students currently enrolled in the spring semester, we are issuing more than $10 million in pro-rated refunds and credits for on-campus housing for those who moved from university residence halls to slow the spread of the coronavirus, parking fees, and dining,” Texas State University President Denise Trauth said in the email sent to
students.

Returning eligible students can apply for the Bobcats to Bobcats scholarship to help pay for tuition and continue in the fall. The money raised is over $300,000, but their goal is one million dollars.

First-time freshmen, with unworn prom dresses in their closet, will also feel the generosity of Texas State.

Incoming freshmen will receive free tuition if their family’s adjusted gross income is $50,000 or less. Before the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Bobcat Promise provided free tuition to families who made less than $35,000.

As a soon-to-be Texas State alumni, I am proud to see my school give to students and provide opportunities for low income and first-generation students.

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