Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to help local college students

Grants made available for UNO students
Posted at 10:13 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 17:44:53-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Along with a lot of other people, college students were hit hard from COVID-19.

The current stimulus package includes funding for colleges, universities and students.

The University of Nebraska-Omaha’s (UNO) campus is a stark contrast to what we were used to seeing. Many classes have moved online but that switch came at a cost.

"The dollars we had to expend to pivot to the online model in comparison to the in-person model," said Doug Ewald, vice chancellor for business finance at UNO. “There is money that the institution had to invest in technology, switches, routers. The big thing here is that we will be able to backfill lost revenue."

The university received $32 million, half of which has to be spent on students. Students were sent an email to apply for the grants.

"I checked food, I checked mental health care, my school materials, my housing, about five things because COVID has affected everything,” said Rita Mmubuogo, UNO student.

Many students had to find more expensive off-campus housing.

The grant process was streamlined and students are notified within a week if they are approved.

"I went in and applied, it was so easy and fast. I am so excited, it will be of great assistance in terms of my education and all aspects of my life. I am so excited. I can't wait for it to arrive,” said Mmubuogu.

When it came to student enrollment, it did not decline but other bills continue to come in for facilities that have not been used much in the past year.

"Our housing operations, our parking operations, our student center operations all have bonds or debt associated with them and we need to continue to make those debt payments to our lenders," said Ewald.

Not seeing students on campus is something that is missed, and the revenue loss from not having students on campus hits hard as well.

“We have fewer students on campus so parking revenues are down, auxiliary fund, bookstore revenue is down, foodservice and obviously athletic revenue is down," said Ewald.

The higher education emergency relief fund is available to students on a first come first serve basis.

If you are a UNO student and need to apply, contact the financial aid office by emailing

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