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At a time when students around the U.S. are in dire financial straits, some universities are stepping up to offer assistance to students who need it most. In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion economic relief package intended to provide emergency assistance to American workers, families, and businesses—but not everyone has been able to benefit from it.

Undocumented and DACA students were excluded from receiving emergency federal aid, but some university systems have wiggled their way around it, granting funds to those who may have otherwise been left out. Colorado State University has provided $1,500 each in aid to 400 students who, for whatever reason, don’t qualify for federal student aid. Among them were 218 undocumented students who qualify for in-state tuition, the school said.

Some undocumented students have taken to social media to praise the university’s decision to offer assistance. In a statement to Prism, Colorado State University said the school is committed to supporting students during the pandemic by accessing state, institutional, and private funding.

“That support comes in many forms, including providing continued employment for many student workers, student support services offered both residentially and virtually, making sure CSU’s food pantry program is helping students experiencing food insecurity, and providing and distributing grants to cover costs related to the pandemic,” said a spokesperson for Colorado State University.

The school said it has awarded grants based on an assessment of student need, the same manner in which they awarded CARES Act funding. To date, the university has distributed more than $3.2 million in emergency aid to more than 2,600 students.

Carolyn Copeland

Carolyn Copeland is the News Editor at Prism. Her written work can be found in the Washington Post, HuffPost, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Palo Alto Weekly, Daily Kos, Popsugar, The...