The school that received the most COVID-19 bailout money STILL has no plan to distribute it

Arizona State University received the most aid than any other school in the U.S.

ASU is still determining how the $63.5 million will be used to assist students in the coming academic year.

Arizona State University has still not distributed federal bailout funds given to the university to help students with pandemic fallout and doesn’t yet have a plan to do so. ASU was awarded $63.5 million in federal CARES Act aid, more than any other university in the United States. At least $31.7 million of that money must be used to help students directly affected by COVID-19 and other pandemic-related interruptions.

The CARES Act was passed in March but ASU has yet to provide a detailed plan for the distribution of what was intended as emergency funds to students and their families. 

“Our goal with that funding will be to support students first and foremost in continuing their academic studies. ASU has a large student population with varying needs,” ASU spokesperson Katie Paquet told Campus Reform. “In the meantime, ASU is continuing to work with all students who have expressed concern about their financial circumstances. In the coming weeks, ASU will consider uses of the remaining funds, particularly in the context of promoting student continuity during COVID-19 and into the next academic year,” Paquet added. 

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According to the State Press, ASU President Michael Crow said that the university was already helping students finish the spring semester and “felt that [ASU] had successfully helped [its] students."

Paquet told the State Press that students who need immediate financial assistance should file a "special circumstances" form with the Financial Aid Office. She added that there is not an "exact timeline" of when funds will be distributed.

However, Paquet also informed Campus Reform that Arizona State University has loaned more than 2,000 laptops and hundreds of WiFi hotspots, provided telehealth services, continuing on-campus employment through the remainder of the spring semester, and expanded internship opportunities. 

ASU also says it distributed nearly $1 million in emergency grants to cover expenses related to housing/rent, meals, flights, and medical expenses. The Undergraduate Student Government of ASU opened a line-item in the budget to reallocate unused funds for student financial assistance. 

[RELATED: Arizona colleges SUED after refusing to refund students amid coronavirus closures]

“I’m hopeful that when the University does distribute CARES Act funds it will be to the benefit of students and their futures,” Joseph Pitts, President of ASU College Republicans told Campus Reform. Pitts added, “So far, they’ve already dedicated more than $30 million directly for students. I’m sure that when the time is right, they’ll properly distribute the money. Now more than ever, we need strong and compassionate leaders like President Crow.”

Pitts also said, “I’m proud of President Crow’s transformative and innovative leadership. His guidance has brought ASU to be the most innovative university in the country — and in my opinion, the world — and I have no reason to doubt his judgments.”

Both Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona have already used portions of the CARES Act aid as direct cash grants to students, according to the Arizona RepublicGrand Canyon University, a private Christian university in Phoenix, already allocated about $600 to each eligible student.

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