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SOMERSUW-Parkside announced the university has covered an estimated $445,000 in student tuition payments affecting 181 students who attended the university during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parkside used the money provided by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to cover the students’ tuition.  The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).  Congress authorized $14 billion in HEERF funding for U.S. colleges and universities; institutions must spend at least half of those dollars on financial aid grants to help students cover a variety of needs.

“Many students have dealt with financial issues during their college careers, but especially so during COVID,” said Kristina Klemens, UW-Parkside’s director of scholarships and financial aid.  “This effort helps provide more equitable education opportunities for those students who are in need and struggling.”

Klemens said another reason to provide financial assistance is that, in many cases, students without a zero balance cannot register for the next school semester.

“We don’t want to see students unable to attend school due to financial stresses incurred during COVID,” said Klemens.  “We’re leveraging these federal funds as best as we can to keep higher education opportunities open to all.”

Klemens added that other higher education institutions have used CARES dollars to clear tuition balances and help students who are struggling financially. 

We are committed to student success and to keeping students on the pathway to their degrees,” said UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford.  “Investment in student success positions us to achieve our bold goal of preparing more graduates and build on the success of graduating the largest classes in UW-Parkside history.” 

About UW-Parkside

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities.  We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement.  The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress.

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