ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud State University is getting $7.8 million from the federal CARES Act that passed last month. University President Robbyn Wacker says that money is split in half between the students and the school.

Students will be able to apply for emergency funds from their $3.9 million if they've had increased expenses like housing or food, or if they've lost money due to job cuts.

Many of our students work part time here in the community, and sometimes full time, and as you know those jobs have now been furloughed and students are really struggling just to make ends meet.

Wacker says SCSU also has some students in rural areas that don't have access to broadband and this money can help them too as they continue to have all of their classes online.

Thursday the Trump Administration said most international students will be barred from receiving emergency education grants through this program, saying only students who qualify for other federal financial aid can receive the money.

Wacker says, as for the university's half of the funding, they refunded a portion of the room and board for students with it prorated back to spring break.

So we have reimbursed those students that were living in our residence halls.  We're keeping track of that amount but it will probably be somewhere around $2.3 million that we have returned to students and their families.

Wacker says they've also had additional investments in technology such as laptops and hot spots, and they've spent money on additional cleaning of the campus. She says the $3.9 million is already spent.

The university was already facing a big budget deficit prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Moving forward Wacker says some of the unknowns include what the virus might do to enrollment figures in the fall and when they can returns students back to campus.

Other larger institutions across the country including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton and Yale have rejected their federal funding amid growing scrutiny of wealthy colleges.

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