Update: Maggio shares information on virtual commencement, CARES Act and assistance enhancements

· , NSU News · Update: Maggio shares information on virtual commencement, CARES Act and assistance enhancements

From NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio:

I hope that everyone had a productive week and will be able to enjoy some time to rest and rejuvenate this weekend. We have made a lot of progress over that last few weeks, and I applaud you for your strength and determination in meeting the challenges that have impacted us all.

Please take time to read the updates below about Spring Commencement, CARES Act student grants and enhancements to assist students in payments to the university.


Spring Commencement:

 On Friday, May 8, our Spring, 2020, graduates will be honored in a virtual commencement program.

It is appropriate to honor these graduates in the most extraordinary commencement program in our history, because students who are completing their studies now have overcome the most difficult challenges to ever face a graduating class at the university.

The graduates, their friends and family members can see the ceremony online and on various social media platforms during the May 8 program.

The virtual program will reflect conventional commencement ceremonies. Northwestern alumna and Broadway performer Holli Conway will speak, academic deans will read the names of graduates, and there will be other pomp and circumstance to celebrate the occasion.

In addition to the virtual ceremony, a traditional graduation program is being planned for our Spring graduates on Aug. 8. This date is contingent on health and safety guidelines that are in effect at that time. We will continue to provide updates as the tentative time for the ceremony approaches.

Graduates will be contacted in the days ahead with more details and requests for photos and videos to make the May 8 virtual celebration even more meaningful.

Congratulations to this very special graduating class.


CARES Act Student Grants:

 We have been officially notified that the university is receiving funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of the total funds allocated to each institution through this program, at least 50 percent must be allocated to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations during the pandemic.

Plans are being finalized for the distribution of CARES Act funds to students. Our primary consideration in the disbursement of the funds will be the needs of students based on specific factors.

Among criteria for the funding will be eligibility for Pell Grants, number of credit hours pursued, and identification of specific needs and hardships.

Every effort is being made to expeditiously provide the greatest feasible benefits to the most students possible based on specific criteria.

Plans are to provide funding to all students except those participating in Dual Enrollment programs.

Ten percent of overall CARES Act funding allocated to the university will be earmarked for additional assistance to students with specific needs and hardships. There will be an application process for students requesting this funding.

We will be updating you in the days ahead with more details about the student grants.


Enhancements to Assist Students in Payments to the University:

We recognize that you may be experiencing financial hardships. To assist you in paying spring semester outstanding balances, we have made the following changes.

  • We have suspended installment plan and late payment charges for the remainder of the Spring semester.
  • We have suspended financial holds until July 15th to keep registration open to those with a spring balance.
  • We will allow students additional time to pay outstanding spring balances.  New Billing dates are scheduled for May 1st, June 3rd, June 24th, and July 15th.


Please direct any questions, email studentaccounting@nsula.edu


About the Author:

Leah Jackson is Northwestern State University's Director of Public Information and Media Relations. She is a 1994 and 2011 graduate of NSU and has been on staff since 2004.