“We miss you and we can’t wait to see you again on campus!”
This statement has been repeatedly expressed by faculty and staff at Wheaton, as we all cherish the in-person interactions with students that make our community so special, and we eagerly await welcoming our students back to campus this fall. As recently announced by President Hanno, our intentions are to deliver the fall semester in person, with the precautions in place to ensure the health and safety of each member of our community.
As we plan and prepare for the future, we are also working to find ways to ease some level of burden on students already affected directly by COVID-19. We write today to share with you information about the Wheaton 2020 Student Relief Fund. This fund will provide support to all Spring 2020 enrolled Wheaton students who have been impacted financially by the crisis. A portion of this funding has been provided by the federal government’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A significant portion also comes from generous donations from the greater Wheaton community and the college’s own institutional funds.
The requirements to receive funding and the application process are simple. To be eligible for funding, you must have been an enrolled student at Wheaton during the Spring 2020 semester and certify that you were financially impacted by the unexpected shift to remote learning in the spring. The minimum grant award will be $300 with higher amounts possible depending on the total funds we have available and factors such as information from a student’s FAFSA. Every eligible student who completes the application and was impacted financially, in some way, by the college moving to remote operations will receive a grant (including non-FAFSA filers). This fund is not intended to resolve all eligible expenses, but rather to provide some modest level of relief for students who have been impacted by this situation.
To be considered for a grant, please complete our simple application by May 15, 2020. We will promptly begin review of all grant applicants and checks will be mailed directly to your home address. We anticipate grant distribution to begin the first week of June.
We also encourage students who are facing new financial strains to contact our Student Financial Services counselors. They can help you explore various options, such as a modified payment plan, deferred payments, or even appealing for more aid, if appropriate. We will do everything we can to assist you and your family during these challenging times.
Though the world around us has changed, the sense of community that defines Wheaton continues and we will do our best to support you in any way that we can. We wish you well as the semester comes to a close and with summer just ahead.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Director of Student Financial Services