August 11, 2020
As we continue to prepare for an exciting and engaging fall semester, we’d like to update you on some vital resources that will be available to students this academic year. Simmons is committed to providing ongoing support to help meet student financial needs and expenses during this pandemic. We want to make sure students are aware of the following funds and grants:
Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund
Last spring, Simmons created the SOS Fund to help support undergraduate and graduate students cover a variety of expenses. To date we’ve allocated more than $100,000 for expenses related to housing and food insecurity, immediate transportation, mental health and medical needs, among other things.
These funds are supplemental to your financial award and can be used for items such as food, utility expenses, and medical expenses. More detailed information on the use of this fund can be found here. You may apply for the SOS fund using this application.
CARES Act funding for Returning Students
Funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into federal law last March, provides support to universities for a variety of expenses, including technology costs associated with virtual learning. CARES Act funding is enabling us to support some returning undergraduate and campus-based graduate students with technology and equipment needs this semester.
In 2019-2020 Simmons provided CARES grants to all eligible students. We have reserved a limited amount of funds in order to help support eligible returning students who require technology in order to effectively attend and participate in virtual classes.
Returning students who need financial assistance to access items such as high-speed internet or laptops, should contact [email protected] to request a grant.
Simmons 2020 Tech Access Fund for First Year Undergraduate Students
We’re also excited that our technology partner 2U has committed an additional $500,000 to help first year undergraduate students access critical technology and equipment, such as laptops and high-speed internet, this academic year.
A message was sent to first year undergraduate students earlier this week with instructions on how to apply for Simmons 2020 Tech Access Funds. To apply, interested first year students must submit a completed technology access questionnaire by Friday, August 7.
Financial Aid and Billing:
Our Student Financial Services Team will continue to assist students and families as they understand financial aid packages, review bills and talk through options. If you have questions about your bill, financial aid, or any of the grants and programs described in this message, please contact the office at [email protected].
Amy C. Staffier
Director of Financial Aid