Tag Archives: CARES Act

TSU to pay off balances of returning students, lifting financial burden

TSU President Glenda Glover

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Returning Tennessee State University students can spend more time focusing on their studies and less time worrying about finances after TSU announced it will be paying off their account balances. Instead of visiting the financial aid office, desperately seeking funds to cover previous school debt, the institution is wiping the slate clean. School officials say this will allow students to return to campus with their full attention on academics and campus life since being away because of COVID-19.

It’s important to note that this account balance forgiveness initiative applies only to returning students who were enrolled Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021. It will also cover Summer 2020 and 2021.  

Douglas Allen II, vice president for business and finance

“We are keenly aware that the number one reason that students do not return to college is lack of funds,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Paying off account balances for our students will relieve some of the financial stress that they have and allow them to focus on studying and completing their degrees. At TSU, we pride ourselves in going that extra mile to assist our students. And that’s precisely what we are doing by paying student balances.”  

Douglas R. Allen II, TSU’s vice president for business and finance, said funds to pay off the balances will come from the federal CARES Act, which was passed in March 2020. Earlier this year much needed additional funds were provided to educational institutions.  

Jeia Moore

“At the end of the day, it’s about the commitment to our students and the University,” said Allen. “This is one of several initiatives we are implementing to assist them.”

“This is really good,” said seniorJeia Moore, a business information systems’ major from Memphis, Tennessee. “It shows this is more than just a school, it’s a family. If something happens, and I need help, then the school has my back. I love it!” 

Grad student Tramon Jones agreed.  

“TSU clearing my balance has been the best thing to happen to me all year,” said Jones, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology. “No longer having a balance will allow me to focus on becoming a school counselor in my community.” 

Tramon Jones

Grad student Kiaya Caine of Nashville said she’s grateful for the pay off, which will allow her to pursue her master’s in sports psychology.

“I actually wasn’t going to get my master’s, but now I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Caine. “This initiative is going to help a lot of students.”

This is not the first time TSU has used the CARES Act funding to assist students. In May 2020, the University used federal funds to assist students and support institutional needs due to COVID-19.   

TSU announced it will be fully operational for Fall 20201 and is expecting its largest freshman class in five years. Freshmen are scheduled to move in August 10-12, with returning students doing so the latter part of the week.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU provides emergency grants to students from CARES Act funding

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will use $7.2 million in federal aid to help students and support institutional needs as a result of COVID-19.  

The funds are being provided to TSU as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The university has received $3.6 million, the first half of the allocation, which is specifically for student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. The university has distributed the funds as emergency financial aid grants to students. The remaining amount will be released later and is reserved for institutional use to cover costs associated with significant changes due to the coronavirus.

Human Performance and Sports Science major Maddison Metcalf says she will use the money to enroll in summer school. Metcalf received her emergency funds on Monday.

“This was unexpected, but very much needed,” says Metcalf, a rising TSU senior. “I had an old laptop and the online class load added more wear and tear to the device. I used the money saved for summer school to help me get another one.” 

Fellow rising TSU senior Matthew Benton is putting his money away for the upcoming semester. “The funds went directly into my savings to help me pay for the fall semester,” says Benton. The business major from Atlanta adds that he wants to make sure all expenses are covered for his final year at TSU.

“The university is attempting to assist as many students as possible that have been impacted by Covid-19,” says Chase, TSU’s vice president of business and finance. 

“Qualifying undergraduate students, graduate students, PELL eligible students, and those experiencing hardships as a result of the pandemic will receive financial support.”

The funds will help students cover “those unplanned expenses,” adds Chase, that have occurred as a result of the pandemic. 

Graduate students will receive a one-time grant of $500. Undergraduate students who are not PELL Grant eligible will receive $600, and undergraduate students who are PELL eligible will receive $800. 

This funding is separate from refunds or financial aid students have received from the university. Last month, TSU students received housing and meal refunds.  

“Each student has her or his own unique challenges as a result of Covid-19,” says Chase. “These funds are flexible and allows them to be used in a way that best suits the students’ individual needs.”

Terrence Izzard, associate vice president of admissions and recruitment at TSU, says “finances play a major role in a student’s ability to enroll, persist, and graduate from college.” 

“TSU is committed to doing all we can to help students remain in school,” says Izzard. “Funding from the CARES Act is certainly helping us keep talented students enrolled.” 

The university will use the second half of the allocation to enhance online learning and other expenses associated with new campus operation measures implemented because of COVID-19. Summer sessions are 100 percent online. They started May 4 and run through August 6.

For more on campus operations affected by the coronavirus, and student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.