Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Who cares? SEMO students talk CARES Act

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Amid the economic fallout produced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act has been a driving factor in the success and support of college students across the country.

On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act as a stimulus to support U.S. citizens. Of the total amount, $13 billion was awarded to higher education, and as of January 29, 92% of the required student aid amount has been granted.

For students at Southeast, the CARES Act has provided financial security and peace of mind.

Amanda Kistler, junior early childhood education major, said having the support of the CARES Act has kept her from having to worry about taking extra hours at her job.

“There’s not as much worry to have to work X amount of hours every week to pay off loans,” Kistler said.

Ali Miller, a sophomore at Southeast and a double major in Spanish and communication studies, said having the money from the CARES Act has helped her prepare to move forward, and that she plans to use the money to pay off student loans and save for an apartment.

“We’ll be putting money towards stuff that’s really expensive,” Miller said.

Anna Smith, a freshman at Southeast and a physical education major, said this is her first-semester using money from the CARES Act.

“I didn’t even know I was eligible until this week,” Smith said. “I’m going to use it to pay back my student loans.”

Smith said having the financial support has taken extra stress off of her shoulders.

“It’s helped a lot not stressing about money or getting a job for extra weeks or months to focus on my studies, my wellbeing and my social life,” Smith said.

To get more information about the CARES Act at Southeast, visit the Student Financial Services website at