Morehouse medical students to get COVID relief grants next week

Morehouse School of Medicine officials say students will receive emergency grants designed to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

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Morehouse School of Medicine officials say students will receive emergency grants designed to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Morehouse School of Medicine officials now say students will receive emergency grants designed to help them through the coronavirus pandemic as soon as Monday.

The historically Black school near downtown Atlanta planned to deliver the money to students by this past Wednesday. However, the school told its 754 students on Tuesday that the funds would be delayed until about Jan. 7 in order for federal education officials to conduct a legal review of the process.

The school’s president, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, said in an interview Saturday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that federal officials have approved the disbursements.

“They agreed we have a very sound process,” she said.

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Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president of Morehouse School of Medicine

Credit: contributed

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president of Morehouse School of Medicine

Credit: contributed

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Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president of Morehouse School of Medicine

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

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.

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