Letter from the Chancellor: May 4, 2020

Dear U of A Community:

Great news for our students! The Board of Trustees has endorsed our plan to distribute more than $7.7 million in student aid provided by the CARES Act. CARES Act grants will be made to students based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) reported in a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2020 or 2021. Consistent with U.S. Department of Education guidance, students with the greatest need, according to their EFC, will be awarded higher amounts on a sliding scale. If you are eligible but have not yet filed FASFA for 2019-20 or 2020-21, you can do so on the Federal Student Aid website. If more students apply than there are funds remaining by June 1, the awards will be made based on EFC until the funds are exhausted.

Many of you undoubtedly have questions. You can learn more about the exact requirements for this aid to get an idea if you qualify and, if so, how much to expect. If you meet the requirements, your aid will be directly deposited into your account through BankMobile, so be sure to sign up and check your preferences. However, to ensure there aren’t any hiccups, we want to encourage eligible students to:

  • Update your mailing address in UAConnect
  • Make or review your refund delivery preferencewith BankMobile
  • Contact BankMobile with any questions you may have regarding those delivery preferences.

Do that and you should be all set. I want to thank everyone on our COVID-19 response team who helped sort through this complicated process to arrive at an equitable and timely solution. We’ve got a great team, and I’m extremely proud of the work you do.

In a continuing effort to identify ways we can provide relief to our students and their families, the board also supported our proposal to reduce fees for summer 2020 classes by more than $27 per credit hour. We felt like we needed to adjust our fees to better reflect our current remote learning environment. The new rate is more reflective of the online experience versus the face-to-face experience. The current pandemic has been tough on everybody, particularly students who may have lost jobs on campus and off, not to mention their families, who may have been hard hit as well. We’re trying to find every possible way we can to decrease the severity of the economic pinch our campus community is feeling. I hope this helps.

Additionally, the board approved a resolution to have on-campus classes in the fall. As I have mentioned before, this is our hope and intent, but we will be planning for multiple contingencies and adjust our plans as needed to keep our campus safe.

Finally, please remember to Go Red for Grads this Friday. Our 2020 graduates will greatly appreciate your support in these unusual times.

Please keep staying the course and staying safe, and know that we are doing we everything we can to be there for our campus community.

Joe Steinmetz, Ph.D.