Protect the Nest Weekly Update for Students – February 26, 2021
Posted Feb 26, 2021
This update is intended to keep you informed of the latest developments from our Protect the Nest Team. Please visit www.otterbein.edu/covid19/ for additional general and student-related information. If you have questions or concerns, contact the COVID Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second Round of Federal Covid-19 Relief Funding Available
Thanks to the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II), Otterbein University is delighted to offer a second round of COVID-19 Relief Funding to provide relief for students coping with the ongoing financial ramifications of the pandemic. The funding is available to be used by impacted students to cover any component of the student’s cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health) or childcare.
Otterbein will be emailing (to the student’s Otterbein email) individualized links to the COVID-19 relief application by March 8, so be sure to check your email regularly. Federal regulations require Otterbein to prioritize aid to students with extreme need, such as students who receive federal Pell grants, however, you do not have to receive a Pell grant to be eligible for support. All students who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply.
Students will have the choice to select to have funds applied to their Otterbein account, refunded to their bank account, or request a check if they do not have direct deposit set up. The application for funding will be live by March 8, and the first round of awardees will be notified on March 12, 2021. Additional awards will be made weekly. Students are encouraged to complete the application as early as possible, as funds will be dispersed on a first come, first served basis through March 26.
Students with questions about the process may contact Student Success and Career Development at 614-823-1624 or email@example.com, or Student Financial Services at 614-823-1502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government Expands Student Access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has expanded college students’ access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits (formerly called Food Stamps). The federal government has also boosted the amount of the benefit – for someone who purchases and prepares their food alone, the SNAP benefit is $234 per month.
Students that may qualify will receive an individualized letter from Otterbein’s Office of Student Financial Services. Students must complete an application process with the State of Ohio to determine final eligibility.
Eligible students can use SNAP benefits to buy food through an EBT card (which can be used like a debit card at qualifying retailers). SNAP can be used to buy food at supermarkets, local groceries, corner stores, farmers markets, and from Amazon, Walmart, and Aldi (through Instacart).
Vaccination Updates for Students
If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, please email a picture of your proof of vaccination to the COVID support team (email@example.com). This information is helpful as we will proactively remove you from the asymptomatic testing pool so we can concentrate our asymptomatic tests for students that have not yet received a vaccination. Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions, please contact Matthew D’Oyly at firstname.lastname@example.org or Danielle Kilboy at email@example.com.
Frequency of Updates
Thanks to current trends and progress in combatting the pandemic, the Protect the Nest Team has decided to scale back our updates to a bi-weekly newsletter. Keep up the great work!
- If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or firstname.lastname@example.org and let our Student Affairs staff and OhioHealth representative advise you on your next steps.
- If you are asymptomatic but would like to have a COVID-19 test, you can request to be added to the weekly asymptomatic pool. Just contact the COVID Support Team at email@example.com.