EMU has created a new grant for students taking classes during the summer semester to help assist with the disruptions students face amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The one-time grant, called the “EMU CARES Grant”, will provide students with $500 for taking one three-credit class and $1000 for taking two classes, or six credit hours, during the summer. Current students, transfer students, and guest students are all eligible for the grant.
The grant will automatically be applied to students’ ebill if they are registered for summer classes. It may take a few days for the amount to be reflected in students’ accounts.
“We understand the profound impact the global health crisis is having on everyone, particularly the financial hardship on students and their families. We are committed to doing everything we can to help students persist in their education and complete the degrees they are working toward,” EMU Vice President for Enrollment Management, Kevin Kucera, said in a statement.
After extending the all-online format through the summer, students became concerned with a $240 online course fee the university normally includes for any online class. An online petition with almost 1,200 signatures was created to urge EMU to get rid of the extra fee, citing additional strains on students’ budgets.
The petition pointed out that although students are not required to take summer classes, many students need to do so to complete required prerequisties to graduate on time.
“I am an Eastern student and if I didn’t have to take online classes I wouldn’t. We shouldn’t have to pay when we don’t have the option to choose between online and in class,” read one comment on the petition before the new grant was announced.
The petition was created by EMU student Carmen Cheng, who is currently pursuing her second bachelor’s degree. In an interview with the Echo, Cheng said she was surprised by the success of the petition and that she’s glad other students are concerned about the issue as well.
“As an event photographer and dining employee, I basically lost all of my income, so I’m happy the school is being generous to make a plan to help [students],” Cheng said.
Cheng also stressed that with social distancing guidelines being extended, the timeline of when students can return to work and school still remains uncertain, and that any help students can get is very helpful.
EMU will be offering over 750 online classes over the summer and summer registration is currently open.