COVID-19 – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Fri, 03 Jul 2020 19:08:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.7 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png COVID-19 – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 A message from Sally Selden, Ph.D., provost of The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/a-message-from-sally-selden-ph-d-provost-of-the-citadel/ Thu, 02 Jul 2020 23:49:38 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17120 "We are shifting our schedule by one week in order to offer our entire semester of classes on campus while still ending classes before Thanksgiving."]]>

Dear Citadel Community,

We discussed our Fall Reopening Plan for the campus with the Board of Visitors late this afternoon, and I am writing to share information about how our calendar will be adjusted for Fall semester.

We are shifting our schedule by one week in order to offer our entire semester of classes on campus while still being able to end classes before Thanksgiving.

We will be starting classes for the Corps of Cadets on Wednesday, August 19 — one week earlier than we had planned. This means that matriculation for the Class of 2024 will move to Saturday, August 8, and that cadre will return one week earlier than that, on August 1.

The last day of classes for the Corps will be November 24, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Rather than returning to campus after Thanksgiving furlough, we will hold final exams remotely. The last day of exams will be December 9.

The schedule for CGC classes has shifted in a similar fashion. The start for the Evening Undergraduate, Graduate, and Online classes has moved to August 19. Classes in the first eight week session in CGC will begin on Monday, August 24.

Shifting our calendar this significantly this close to the start of the semester was not a decision we took lightly. We considered a number of other options for fall, but this course of action seems the best way to fulfill the mission of The Citadel while protecting the health and safety of our cadets, students, faculty, and staff.

We want to thank all of you for the ways you have already adapted to the many personal and professional challenges the pandemic has created. I continue to be inspired by you and to be grateful for your dedication, flexibility and patience.

With all the best wishes for your continued health and safety, 

Sally Selden

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Save the date: Get the information you need for Operation Fall Return 2020 from Citadel leadership https://today.citadel.edu/save-the-date-get-the-information-you-need-for-operation-fall-return-2020-from-citadel-leadership/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 18:00:06 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17062 All efforts are focused on setting conditions for cadets and students to return to an adapted face-to-face instruction and training model.]]>

All efforts at The Citadel are focused on Operation Fall Return 2020: setting conditions for cadets and students to return to an adapted face-to-face instruction and training model for the fall semester. This includes expansive and ongoing sanitation of campus facilities by an expert contractor, restructuring instructional settings for social distancing, and changing the flow of seating in the mess hall, to name a few examples.

“Having discussed our plans with many cadets, students, parents and alumni, I understand our community wants to return to campus and partake in the transformational academic and leadership development experience for which we are renowned. The time-tested value of The Citadel experience pays tremendous dividends, and we are committed to delivering it in as close to our traditional way as possible,” said The Citadel President Gen. Glenn M. Walters, USMC (Ret.), in an email to campus constituents.

Save the date for your Town Hall to learn more about Operation Fall Return 2020

Walters, with other campus leadership, will provide detailed information about Operation Fall Return 2020 during the following remote Town Hall meetings. Please only join the specific meeting that pertains to you, due to the limited Zoom capacity (750 slots per event).

Citadel Alumni Fall Return Town Hall

Monday, July 6 at 7 p.m.

https://citadelonline.zoom.us/j/92337008067?pwd=Y01yYmVndTFoR1BXUHI2THArR2RPQT09

Citadel Parents and Students Fall Return Town Hall

Wednesday, July 8 at 7 p.m.

https://citadelonline.zoom.us/j/95197797125?pwd=YTVnQWNoaktwSFpNbEJadjY5enNjdz09

Citadel Class of 2024 Fall Return Town Hall

Tuesday, July 21 at 7 p.m.

https://citadelonline.zoom.us/j/98449029652?pwd=TU4wb0FZUTVEMEFNZzBmQ3JnZUxxQT09

“Operating in a COVID-19 environment requires commitment by every member of our community to many new health protection measures. Your well-being is, and will remain, our primary consideration,” said Walters. “I believe The Citadel’s distinctive environment will help us stand out from other institutions in combatting this virus and maintaining our unique methods of education and leadership development. It will take sustained commitment from us all to make it work, and I have high confidence we can overcome the challenge.”

Information supporting Operation Fall Return, can be found on this webpage. Check the website regularly for updates, to provide feedback, or to ask questions. 

Three lines of effort

The mission encompasses three lines of effort: 

  1. Return to work and set conditions for the return of cadets and students.
    Enables detailed plans for our employees to return to work and for the implementation of thorough cleaning and personal hygiene protocols. We have invested in masks, COVID-19 testing capability, sanitization supplies and equipment to facilitate these efforts.
  2. Prepare for academic instruction and cadet training.
    The Citadel shall employ technology to reduce student density in classrooms by splitting class sections. This also enables cadets or students who test positive, but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, to continue coursework remotely. The Citadel’s experience hosting Marine Corps recruits over the summer guided the Commandant’s plans for cadet and knob training. Some activities will be canceled, some modified to maintain social distancing, and some will continue as normal or with adjustments.
  3. Keep stakeholders informed and engaged.
    In addition to the Operation Fall Return 2020 website, the college will provide news updates and engagement opportunities via teleconference technology and social media, such as the Town Hall meetings listed above.

“We are excited about the return of our cadets and students,” Walters continued. “Our success relies on you. Every member of our Citadel family must do their part. Please let us know how we are doing in getting you the information you need.”

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Summerville woman helps strangers stay healthy at The Citadel https://today.citadel.edu/summerville-woman-helps-strangers-stay-healthy-at-the-citadel/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 10:00:42 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17052 Amanda Workman, who has no connection to The Citadel, proceeded to make 200 "ear savers," plastic extenders for face masks, for the college. ]]>

Amanda Workman calls them “ear savers.” The Summerville mom and businesswoman makes the plastic extenders to be used with face masks, so they fit more snugly.

“The ear savers that I am making are laser cut. I can cut 10 of them in about 7 minutes and they are made from a flexible cutting board mat, so they are easy to clean, as they are less porous,” Workman explained in an email.

In the late spring, a Citadel Graduate College student contacted Workman to find out if she would consider making some ear savers for the college’s summer staff that had to be on campus to take care of facilities and summer remote instruction.

Workman, who has no connection to The Citadel, said yes. She proceeded to make 200 for the college. 

She is often producing them with her 18-month old daughter Addison in tow.

“The demand for these is so high that I am happy to help. I’ve actually given out over 1000 of these and I’m currently working on an order of 500 to send out to Columbia,” she said. “My husband thinks I’m crazy taking on such large orders while taking care of our 18-month old daughter, but I see it as a welcoming challenge for a teacher turned stay-at-home mom who owns a small business.”

Workman’s business is called Sleepy Pirates Designs. They make customized machined metal and wood products as well as decals.

“I’m just thankful we can do a little something to help those we know and even strangers right now.”

Workman mailed the extenders to campus just a few days after receiving the request where they gratefully distributed.

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Back on campus: it is our duty to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 https://today.citadel.edu/back-on-campus-it-is-our-duty-to-protect-ourselves-and-others-from-covid-19/ Sun, 28 Jun 2020 19:02:36 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17029 Operation Fall Return 2020 sets conditions for cadets and students to return to an adapted face-to-face instruction and training model.]]>

Photo: Citadel President General Glenn M. Walters ’79, USMC (Ret.) helps lay out masks for Facilities and Engineering employees at The Tailor Shop in April 2020

Operation Fall Return is underway. This mission sets conditions for cadets and students to return to an adapted face-to-face instruction and training model. The model is designed to protect the health and safety of our community while providing the impactful education and leadership development experience for which The Citadel is renowned.

But it is going to take the commitment of every person on campus to be sustainable.

Our campus community is well-suited to implementing COVID-19 protection and prevention measures. It is in challenging environments like this one that The Citadel’s structured, disciplined approach pays off. It is the duty of every member of our campus community to follow these measures to protect the health and safety of our community. Remember that we are protecting each other and our ability to operate the college safely — the personification of our Respect core value.

As the pandemic continues across America, many want to know if returning to campus is safe. The answer is yes, with the participation of every person following the right behaviors. Keeping students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy remains the top priority of the college.

There is risk, but it is a manageable risk when each of us understands it is our duty to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. How everyone behaves in each stage will impact the reopening, and sustained functioning of our campus.

What is expected on campus

We have used expert medical advice to develop precautions prior to returning to campus and while on campus. We need everyone to follow these measures throughout the semester to protect everyone and our ability to operate in person.

This is what is required of every person entering campus:

  • Testing. Diagnostic testing is required for all cadets and students prior to returning. Proof of a negative test, taken at least two weeks prior to the return date will be required upon re-entry with detailed instructions to come.
  • Faculty and staff must sign attestation. This is a document required to be signed by all employees prior to returning to work on campus, attesting that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have not been exposed to someone with the virus.
  • Wearing a face covering. At a minimum, face coverings are required in public areas including classrooms, the library, fitness centers, shared hallways, all dining facilities, the bookstore, the Marketplace, barracks quads, the Veterans Center, office lobbies, etc. The nation’s top medical professionals agree that this is the number one measure in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The City of Charleston also requires facemasks be worn in any indoor location.
  • Stringent personal hygiene. Washing hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, frequently throughout the day, is an essential behavior to fight infectious diseases, whether it is COVID, the flu or the common cold.
  • Physical distancing. Whenever possible, people should be spaced 6 feet apart. This applies during cadet formations (just has the Marines did over the summer while using our campus), when in meetings or in almost every instance where people are interacting on campus. Roommates in the barracks will be in close quarters but should stay as far apart as the room allows. We must especially adhere to this in areas where we are most vulnerable to the risk of transmitting and contracting the virus such as while eating, when masks cannot be worn.
  • Contact tracing. When a person on campus tests positive for the virus, contact tracing will be employed to determine who that person was in close contact with, and measures will be taken according to the guidance provided by state health officials.
  • Self-reporting. Any cadets experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should distance themselves from others and report to the Infirmary. Any CGC students or employees with symptoms should stay home, or go home, call their department head or supervisor, and seek a COVID-19 test from one of the many facilities around the city. Those with positive tests will need to quarantine for a minimum of two weeks and should not integrate back into their campus activities until receiving a negative follow up test. Cadets and students will be able to continue their academic requirements remotely should it be needed.

This fall will be unlike any other and we want it to be as productive as possible. Remembering that it is your duty to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, and following these measures will go a long way toward keeping our campus open.

More detailed instructions will be available on the Operation Fall Return 2020 website, in addition to ongoing communications from the Commandant’s Office directly to cadets and parents, and from the CGC to its students.

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The Citadel implements enhanced disinfecting procedures ahead of cadets’ return https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-implements-enhanced-disinfecting-procedures-ahead-of-cadets-return/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:00:07 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17013 Ahead of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets' arrival on campus, the school plans to implement heavy sanitizing procedures beginning on July 1st.]]>

As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Katie Augustine

Charleston’s military college, The Citadel, will begin welcoming cadets back in late July. Ahead of their arrival, the school plans to implement heavy sanitizing procedures beginning on July 1st.

Hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and disinfectants are just the start of the procedures. A contracted custodial service called The Budd Group has been given the task of keeping The Citadel as clean as possible by deploying disinfection teams out on campus every weeknight.

A variety of tools will be used by both The Budd Group employees and people on campus including electrostatic disinfectant atomizers, regular disinfectant atomizers, and ‘self-help’ sanitizing stations.

Atomizers are machines used to continuously spray disinfectant over large surfaces. The electrostatic disinfectant atomizer can be used to disinfect an entire room in just minutes. It will be one tool used to disinfect all classrooms and public spaces nightly.

A representative for The Budd Group says all disinfectants are botanical.

“Every weeknight we’ve got disinfection teams that are going to deploy across campus and what they’re really targeting is all the heavy traffic areas and specifically classrooms,” said Jeff Lamberson, VP of Facilities and Engineering at The Citadel.

Disinfectant teams will also be on call ready to respond if someone needs a specific area sanitized.

Proctors will be stationed in the library all day long to keep heavy touchpoints, such as stair railings, elevator keys and computers, clean.

Beyond The Budd Group’s sanitation measures, there will be lots of opportunities for ‘self-help’ disinfection.

Disinfection atomizers will be stationed around campus for people to use as needed.

“Disinfection towels, and then we have hand sanitizer stations deployed all over campus so we’re trying to give everybody many options for keeping the environment safe and healthy,” said Lamberson.

Taking it one step further, everyone on campus will be required to wear a face mask.

“As long as we’re in this environment, we’re going to make this the healthiest environment we can,” said Lamberson.

According to Lamberson, MUSC already keeps its facilities very clean and the College of Charleston will be implementing some similar measures to keep their campus safe and healthy as well.

The Citadel plans to implements these new procedures on July 1st and will continue for as long as necessary.

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Citadel remote learning being strengthened to reinforce program agility for 2020-21 https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-remote-learning-being-strengthened-to-reinforce-program-agility-for-2020-21/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 16:19:41 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=16973 The Corps of Cadets achieved grades consistent with historic norms for spring semester, even after the emergency transition to online learning.]]>

Grades from spring online learning remained steady

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets achieved grades consistent with historic norms for spring semester, even after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a transition from face-to-face to online learning. The Citadel’s faculty adapted more than 1,400 courses to an online delivery model. Student services like tutoring and counseling were also transitioned to distance learning programs to support cadets and students as they continued their academic studies.

During and after the online portion of the semester, the college surveyed cadets and students about their experiences, to obtain feedback that can improve the college’s remote learning courses and services for the future.

Dr.-Sally-Selden-provost-and-dean-of-The-Citadel
Sally Selden, Ph.D., provost and dean of The Citadel

“The Citadel is planning to return to offering face-to-face instruction and on-campus leadership and military training for cadets in the fall,” said Sally Selden, Ph.D., The Citadel’s provost and dean of the college. “But this data and the lessons we have learned will help us be agile and prepared for the uncertainty every institution will face in the next academic year.”

For example, Selden explained, the college must prepare to serve cadets and students with health conditions and any who contract the virus. “Understanding our cadets’ and students’ experience helps us better serve them in the fall.”

Selden believes data collected by The Citadel Office of Institutional Research, comparing grades from the spring semester to the previous academic year, are encouraging for the student populations that usually learn on campus.

For example, some of the analysis of cadets’ grades comparing spring 2020 with 2019 are as follows:

  • 7.73% increased by 1 point
  • 0.13% increased by 1 point
  • 0.3% decreased by 2 points
  • 2.31% decreased by 1 point

Still, Selden and her team of academic leaders emphasized that enhancements to the online courses are needed and are underway.

“Our faculty are committed to creating more robust digital versions of their courses, building on what they learned during the emergency transition to online instruction necessitated by the pandemic last spring,” said David G. Allen, Ph.D., The Citadel’s associate provost for academic affairs. “In addition, the college has recently adopted a new virtual learning management system, Canvas, that will provide a smoother user experience for all when remote learning is needed.”  

Canvas is a cloud-based architecture supporting real-time curriculum updates and more easily integrates video-based learning and digital collaboration for faculty and students. Some of the other advantages include:

  • Mobile app for professors
  • Mobile app for students
  • 24/7 virtual chat feature and phone number connecting users to the Canvas Helpdesk

“Professors can communicate with their classes or post grades from their mobile devices. Students can send questions and see their assignments from their phones,” said Diana Cheshire, Ph.D., director of The Citadel Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, Learning and Distance Education. “These technological enhancements will increase real-time interaction between professors and students and improve the overall remote learning experience.”

Other improvements underway for remote learning include transforming lessons that previously could only take place in a lab to virtual-capable experiences, especially important for engineering and science courses.

Selden said the college will also continue to work with students to identify solutions for those who have challenges with computer access and internet connectivity, particularly in rural areas. “We are committed to our mission to educate and develop principled leaders. As we analyze feedback and results, we will continue preparing for the return of our cadets and students to a face-to-face learning and training model. We will be ready to help our cadets and students continue their academic and leadership development progress.”

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June 18 COVID Update https://today.citadel.edu/june-18-covid-update/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 18:19:26 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=16965 The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided The Citadel with $1.249 million, which is 50% of the total funds received under Section 1804(a)(1) of the CARES Act.]]>

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided The Citadel with $1.249 million, which is 50% of the total funds received under Section 1804(a)(1) of the CARES Act. The Citadel signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement of the CARES Act. These funds are targeted to give students cash to cover their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

The CARES Act grants were awarded to students based on guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. To be considered, students had to be eligible for federal student financial aid as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be making satisfactory academic progress. Additionally, students had to be enrolled at least half-time in Spring 2020 in a degree program that was not exclusively online prior to the closure of campus. Approximately 3,600 students were included.

Following the federal government’s recommendation to prioritize students with the greatest need, The Citadel made the first awards to Pell Grant recipients of $1,758.32 which equaled 80% of the available funding. The second round of grants allowed students who did not already receive a CARES Act grant to apply for up to $1,000 in emergency grants. Awards were distributed as follows:

May 7, 2020 – 533 awards – $937,184 – Pell recipients

May 14, 2020 – 33 awards – $58,024 – Pell recipients

June 16, 2020 – 50 awards – $50,000 – Applications

This week’s disbursement was awarded through an online application that was made available to all students. Sixty-seven applicants applied, 50 were approved for $1,000 each.

The Treasurer’s Office will issue the entire grant amount as a direct payment to the student. The grant will not be applied toward any outstanding tuition and fee balances. Checks will be sent by direct deposit if the student is enrolled in electronic refunds through Lesesne Gateway, or a paper check mailed to the student’s home address on file.

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S.C. Guard deployed to Citadel for face mask building effort https://today.citadel.edu/s-c-guard-deployed-to-citadel-for-face-mask-building-effort/ Thu, 28 May 2020 21:50:13 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=16611 SC Guard members and others in Citadel's Daniel Library working to make masks for healthcare workersSC Guard members and others in Citadel's Daniel Library working to make masks for healthcare workersSeven members of the South Carolina National Guard are on a 20-day deployment…in The Citadel’s libraryworking to protect healthcare workers against COVID-19.]]> SC Guard members and others in Citadel's Daniel Library working to make masks for healthcare workersSC Guard members and others in Citadel's Daniel Library working to make masks for healthcare workers

Seven members of the South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) are on a 20-day deployment…in The Citadel’s library. The group is helping construct N-95 face masks from 3-D printed materials to protect healthcare workers against COVID-19. 

S.C. National Guard soldiers, Specialist James Yates, PFC Christopher Cosgrove and PFC Virginia George assembling face masks in the Daniel Library

They are assigned to be part of a collaborative team that includes three Citadel faculty members and several cadets and students, volunteers from The Rotary Club of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University, and some community members who have 3-D printers at home.

The goal, with the help of a grant from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, is to make 1,000 medical grade face masks for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). 

Brig. Gen. Brad Owens recently visited campus from the SCNG headquarters in Columbia to tour the operation. He is director of the Joint Staff SCNG.

“Each mask takes about ten hours to print, then about two hours to assemble,” Danial Hawkins explained to Owens. Hawkins is the Academic Technology Librarian for the college and directions operation in The Citadel Maker Space.

One of the dedicated volunteers, Col. Skip Fink, USMC (Ret.) and chairman of the local Rotary Club’s Veterans’ Committee, explained to Owens how the filters for the masks are created. “We are using micron filter material that is turned into an accordion-like filter and glued in place. There is also an extra filter flap that moves as the person breathes.”

Each part of every mask must be assembled by hand.

The group told Owens that close to 600 masks have already been delivered to MUSC to keep their healthcare workers protected from COVID-19.

Before Owens left, he thanked the soldiers for their work and gave the SCNG Staff Sergeant William Able a challenge coin. In addition, he presented a plaque to the president of the Charleston Rotary Club, and to the college’s director of library services commending the efforts of their teams.

“We are tasked by FEMA to overcome COVID-19. We are in this community. We are a part of this community, and we are proud to be a part of this collaboration,” Owens said.

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COVID Update: Gen Walters holds Town Hall for faculty and staff https://today.citadel.edu/covid-update-gen-walters-holds-town-hall-for-faculty-and-staff/ Thu, 28 May 2020 20:47:39 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=16653 Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (Ret.), president of The Citadel, held a virtual Town Hall, via Zoom, to discuss the campus's Return-to-Work Protocol and answer questions from faculty and staff.]]>

Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (Ret.), president of The Citadel, held a virtual Town Hall, via Zoom, to discuss the campus’s Return-to-Work Protocol and answer questions from faculty and staff on Wednesday, May 27.

For those who were unable to join the town hall, you can watch a recording it at this link (please start the video at 00:13:22).

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May 14 COVID Update https://today.citadel.edu/may-14-covid-update/ Thu, 14 May 2020 20:03:53 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=16400 The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided The Citadel with $1.249 million for student grants.]]>

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided The Citadel with $1.249 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for student grants. The funds are being issued to give students cash to cover their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

The CARES Act Grants were awarded to students based on guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. To be considered, students had to be eligible for federal student financial aid as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have satisfactory academic progress. Additionally, students had to be enrolled in Spring 2020 in a degree program that was not exclusively online prior to the closure of campus.  The Citadel has approximately 3,600 students that completed the FAFSA form and were enrolled at least half time for the spring semester.

Approximately 75 percent of the initial CARES Act funding is being disbursed directly to about 530 eligible students (@$937,000) in the form of grant aid to help with financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. There is a second disbursement to an additional 32 Pell Grant recipients today (@$58,000).  The remaining 20 percent (@$250,000) will be available to other students who apply for and are eligible for emergency financial assistance.  The application is available on the Financial Aid page.

Following the federal government’s recommendation to prioritize students with the greatest need, The Citadel made the first awards to Pell Grant recipients of $1,758 which equaled 75 percent of the available funding.  The next round of grants will allow students who did not already receive a CARES Act grant to apply for up to $1,000 in emergency grants. 

The Treasurer’s Office will issue the entire grant amount as a direct payment to the student.  The grant will not be applied toward any outstanding tuition and fee balances.  Students enrolled in electronic refunds through Lesesne Gateway will receive grants through direct deposit.  All others will receive a paper check that will be mailed to the student’s home address on file.

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