The InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico is distributing $29.6 million to students in financial assistance provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the college’s President Manuel J. Fernós announced.
The CARES Act assigns emergency financial aid to each eligible college student actively enrolled in a face-to-face program at the time of the U.S. President’s emergency declaration due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“With urgency and a lot of empathy toward the needs of our students, the InterAmerican University accelerated the process to receive the transfer of federal funds, putting ourselves in a position to disburse all the emergency aid corresponding to eligible students in a single disbursement, now, when it is most needed,” Fernós said.
On April 30, the InterAmerican University began getting authorizations from the federal government “and today we’re already issuing direct deposit payments and mailing checks to the vast majority of our students,” he added.
The amount of emergency aid that the student will receive will depend on the allocation that each campus, the Law School and the School of Optometry, will get from the U.S. Department of Education, based on eligibility criteria and the formula established by the federal government.
This means that eligible college students will receive the same amount within their respective campuses, but the amounts vary among campuses as approved by the U.S. Department of Education. To speed up the process, students must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
The college official confirmed that the InterAmerican University used the discretion granted by the U.S. Department of Education to treat full-time and part-time students in the same way, according to federal guideline criteria.
The amounts students will receive will range from $624 to $1,507 depending on the amount of federal money assigned to the campus. In the case of the School of Optometry and the Law School, they received a much lower amount from the U.S. Department of Education, so students will receive $153.50 and $137.31, respectively.