HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – With the fall 2020 semester set to begin, Centenary University has pledged to extend pandemic-related financial support to students through additional funding from the Centenary CARES Emergency Grant Fund. All actively enrolled Centenary students—including incoming freshmen and transfers—are eligible to apply for assistance beginning Sept. 9.
Centenary’s fund was established as part of $1.35 million awarded to the University last spring through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was adopted by Congress in response to the ongoing national health crisis. To date, Centenary has distributed approximately 63 percent of the funding that was earmarked for student relief.
The fall awards from the Centenary CARES Emergency Grant Fund represent the University’s individualized approach to assist students, according to Centenary University President Bruce Murphy, Ed.D. “Every family faces different financial challenges as a result of this pandemic,” Dr. Murphy explained. “We recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for these unique situations. As a small University, we can take a much more holistic approach to ensure that Centenary students have the resources they need to attend college.”
“Centenary’s approach is more comprehensive than that of many other universities. Some institutions have chosen to distribute a set amount of funding to every student, while others have required students to submit applications to address specific financial needs. Centenary chose to do both'” Vice President for Business and Finance Denton Stargel said.
First, during the spring semester, the University awarded $300 grants to every eligible student to provide immediate relief as instruction quickly pivoted to at-home virtual courses. Then, the University instituted an application process for individual students with extraordinary circumstances, such as the loss of employment or lack of adequate technology at home.
Recognizing that current students continue to face economic hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Centenary reserved almost 40 percent of the funding to address ongoing financial hurdles. “We understand economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 is a reality for many of our students,” Stargel said. “These new grants will help to ensure that Centenary students continue to have the individualized support they need to earn a college degree.”
“The University pays close attention to all COVID-related expenses, as well as factors including job loss, health crises, and material needs such as food and housing security, when considering applications. “Centenary University is proud and thankful to be able to distribute these funds to our student body,” she noted. “We feel strongly about maintaining our commitment to supporting all members of our campus community, especially during these difficult times,” director of veteran services and chair of the Centenary CARES Emergency Grant Fund Task Force Margie Pavlichko said.