FAMU awarded millions of dollars from COVID-19 relief grant

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:57 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It is game-changing relief.

Florida A&M is one of several HBCU’s that have been selected to receive millions through the National COVID Relief Bill, which was passed by the United States Congress Monday night.

Not only will it give financial aid to individuals and businesses but also universities like FAMU.

FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson says he is thankful that FAMU made the list. He believes the aid that will be given to the Rattler community will stretch far and wide, which is something both students and faculty like Dr. Robinson, are looking forward to.

“We are highly appreciative of everyone in Washington who has helped to make this happen,” he said.

FAMU is one of many that has been given a grant with a hefty dollar amount: $111 million. $56 million of that money will go towards construction projects and renovations, while $55 million will help re-finance housing.

Aiyana Ishmael, a senior at FAMU studying journalism, believes this money will help attract potential students, “To even just spruce up the campus, even in the past couple of years they have been given small amounts of money and they have taken that to improve how our campus looks on the outside, and also adding more buildings and programs.”

Xavier McClinton, FAMU’s SGA President, adds this is can only be beneficial, “To have little steps like that to be improved and increased I think is going to go a long way for our students.”

Speaking of students, 65% of FAMU students are Pell Grant recipients. With this relief act, that program will be expanding, which allows new and current students opportunities to get the aid they need.

“That is a big piece of our student body,” shares McClinton, “and being able to increase access and the number of students who can receive the Pell grant will be a really big and tremendous help for a lot of students who are struggling to find work and make some money to pay for their education throughout this pandemic.”

“A lot of people are struggling financially,” expresses Ishmael, “so to have the opportunity to get these grants and money from FAMU is going to mean a world of difference.”

The aid is a surprise to receive but Ishmael believes it will leave a lasting impact on Rattler students, “It makes me feel great, I think FAMU is one of the greatest schools honestly, I am very biased but I am proud to be biased of it.”

There are smaller provisions within the bill: Roughly $20 million will be made available for scholarships next year. A $285 million pilot program will be created to give HBCU’s strong internet access.

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