NIU receiving $7.4 million in federal funds, announces fall 2020 semester plans

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DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) -- Northern Illinois University received $7.4 million in federal funds. The funds will be distributed through the NIU Cares grant for undergraduate, graduate and law school students seeking degrees.

The students must be enrolled in the spring 2020 term for at least a half of the term. NIU will use federal criteria to determine eligibility and will issue an $800 grant to students who have the greatest financial need, based on income information provided in the 2019-2020 FAFSA. Grants will be issued automatically and students will not need to apply for the funding.

The school says international students, undocumented students, students who withdrew from classes before March 13, or those enrolled in online only programs are not eligible.

Students can also apply for assistance from the NIU Student Emergency Fund. Currently, 3,000 students have received support from the fund, which depleted it’s funding. NIU says it will relaunch the fund on June 1.

Student Emergency Funds are limited. Students who have not already received assistance from the SEF will be given priority consideration. The fund will open on a rolling schedule to accommodate students who have not previously received support.

Fall 2020 Semester Plans

In a letter to NIU students, ​the fall semester will look different but the school is committed to making sure that it is a "personalized, engaging and inclusive experience."

NIU says schedules will likely include in-person, online and a combination of both for classes. Any in-person class will be kept smaller and scheduled to allow for physical social distancing along with proper sanitation.

For students who plan on living on campus, the school is working to provide each student with an individual room for the 2020-21 academic year in residence halls that provide the best layouts for social distancing and student health.