The money will come from federal coronavirus aid to help students with costs such as child care, health care, housing and transportation, which the school said has increased since the start of the pandemic. Many U.S. colleges and universities have used the federal relief funds for similar purposes.
The school used a formula to determine the grants based on how some living expenses have increased in the Atlanta region since the pandemic began. Students will receive a minimum of $4,800 and a maximum of $6,300, school officials said. Some students with more than one child may be eligible for additional funds. Some students must still fill out a form to be eligible for the money.
The school has said 91% of its students receive some type of need-based financial aid, which Rice has said “identifies exceptional need of our student population.” Rice said many students need the grants because, for example, some are driving across the state to work in medical facilities for their coursework. She noted that most of the school’s graduates work in underserved communities.
“What is more important than to utilize those dollars to support the students to receive a degree to take care of patients and take care of people with COVID, diabetes and other diseases,” she said.