The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is positioned to award in excess of $9 million in financial assistance in 2020 to students through a mix of federal and state grants, scholarships and monies raised by the CSM Foundation.
Under the CARES Act Student Emergency Aid, the U.S. Department of Education granted the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) $1,289,511 to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus and an additional $1,289,511 to provide emergency financial aid directly to students for expenses related to the disruption of on-campus operations or job loss due to the pandemic.
“By the end of July, CSM had already distributed $1,289,511 to 2,141 eligible students,” said Acting Executive Director of Financial Assistance and Advocacy Christian Zimmermann. “In addition, CSM has decided to award up to $900,000 of the CARES Act funding that was earmarked for our institution to our students who were enrolled in the spring and plan to return in the fall.” So far, Zimmermann said, 1,100 students have received funds to continue this fall.
“It is so important to everyone at CSM that our students complete their learning,” said Zimmermann. “We know our students are struggling because of this pandemic and we are doing all we can to help them financially.”
In fact, CSM announced in April that it was taking several steps to help students brace for ongoing hardships caused by COVID-19 including cancelling summer and fall tuition increases and waiving summer and fall course fees.
In addition to federal and state grant monies, the CSM Foundation has earmarked $250,000 through the CSM Foundation Help a Hawk fund to support CSM students. The Help a Hawk fund will provide nearly $500 to eligible students which can cover the cost of one three-credit class to returning students who were enrolled in the spring and plan to return in the fall
The CSM Foundation has been awarded $25,000 in grants to fund this initiative, dedicated to assisting CSM students whose college aspirations are in jeopardy due to hardships stemming from COVID-19. This support is possible thanks to grants from:
- Chaney Enterprises Foundation through the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County ($20,000)
- WesBanco Community Relief Fund ($2,500)
- Charles County Charitable Trust COVID-19 Emergency Fund, Round 2 ($2,500).
To date, more than $73,000 has been awarded to 149 students from the Help a Hawk effort.
“We are very proud that the CSM Foundation awarded more than $40,000 through the student emergency fund last spring and is looking to award $250,000 more this fall to returning students,” said Acting Executive Director of the CSM Foundation Chelsea Clute. “This year has been so difficult on our students – and we are more committed than ever to ensure our students stay enrolled and finish their education with us.”
“The bottom line is that we have funds available to help our students who are taking credit and non-credit classes,” explained Zimmermann. “Our financial aid is not all need-based and it is never too late to apply for funding.”
Zimmermann said he strongly encourages new and existing CSM students fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year to apply for all federal student and parent loan programs, need-based grants, the Federal Work-study program, and CSM Foundation scholarships. CARES Act funds will automatically be disbursed to students who have a FAFSA on file, are enrolled in a Title IV eligible program of study, and satisfy all other eligibility requirements of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
You may also be interested in reading: