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ESU gives students financial boost

ESU was able to divvy up $7.5 million dollars to help those in need. For some students, the money couldn't have come at a better time.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — East Stroudsburg University was able to divvy up $7.5 million to help those in need. For some students, the money couldn't have come at a better time.

Some students at East Stroudsburg University just got a financial boost.

ESU handed out a third round of pandemic funding. The money came from the American Rescue Plan.

Alison Pyle is a single mom and a senior on campus. She says she used her relief money to be able to learn from home, so she didn't need to worry about child care.

"I was able to buy a laptop for online classes. It was surprising but just super helpful."

Almost $40 billion in funding was given out nationally to higher education to help students through the pandemic.

ESU handed out $7.5 million. Eligible students were awarded a few hundred dollars to a maximum of $3,500.

The money does not need to be paid back, and students could use it to pay for anything like rent, bills, or school supplies.

"A lot of students, a lot of our students work full-time and do school full-time, and a lot of them lost their jobs," said Kary Tejeda, ESU Financial Aid Director.

"There has been a lot of loss when it comes to, they have been impacted in their finances. It's been difficult for them over the past two years."

ESU didn't hand out all the money. Directors told Newswatch 16 they put aside a little bit more than one million dollars just in case a student is in need somewhere down the road.

"We've got advanced registration for spring starting shortly, and we wanted to be sure that should students need help with their balances that we have some money set aside as students continue to have emergencies. We have some funds set aside for that as well," said Karen Lucas, ESU Enrollment Management. 

Unlike previous funding cycles, students did not have to go through a full application process in order to get this money. However, students in need of emergency funding from money that's been set aside will need to file an application.

East Stroudsburg University officials note a fourth round of funding is not expected at this time.

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