USU Eastern Working to Ensure Student Opportunities Despite COVID-19 Outbreak


With many academic ventures unsure as the nation works to battle COVID-19, Greg Dart of USU Eastern discussed scholarships, summer classes, athletics and more.

Dart began with athletic scholarships, stating that for right now, they are doing exactly what they would be any other year as far as bringing in an athletic class for the following year. The way that it works is, when a student athlete commits to an institution, they sign a letter of intent.

The biggest change is that everything is happening through phone calls, video conferences, etc. Nothing is being handled face to face; they are not traveling to a student’s school but working over email. The college is still signing athletes for next year with the anticipation that there will be student athletes competing as normal in the fall.

Of course, Dart acknowledges that that is something that is not known for certain at this time. The first sports in the fall are volleyball and soccer with Aug. 1 typically being the day that the athletes return to begin the season.

There are some changes that have occurred with spring sports. Baseball and softball were in their season when the games were cancelled. One big change with the student athlete’s scholarships is that students have been granted an additional year of eligibility. Due to the season cutting short, the scholarship did not count. The impact on the scholarship would be that any student that chooses to stay for the year will not count toward the number of scholarships a school can offer for that sport.

Changes have been made to give students more opportunity for institutional scholarships with the deadline being extended to June 1. USU Eastern made the decision for students to still apply until then for a couple of reasons; the first being that they are hearing from students that even if they choose to attend school next year, the wish to stay closer to home may become more important now as compared to a few months ago.

With this in mind, Dart stated that they do not wish for students to miss the opportunity to attend. Another reason is that other students that were in service of their religious organization or humanitarian projects and will be returning home will also have the chance to apply.

Dart stated that they have been notified by the federal government that there are certain plans in the works due to anticipating that there will be more and more people that need to enter back into education due a loss of employment.

Finally, financial aid is available for the students that attend in the summer. This is already in place and schools have been notified that the university is giving additional financial aid grant dollars to students in the fall due to the fact that there will be a lot of individuals whose financial situations have changed. The website has been updated and that is where the most up-to-date information can be located. Information comes in front the government nearly constantly, prompting the site to also be updated frequently.

It is important to note that summer classes across the state will be offered remotely. There is a significant number of online and broadcast courses. The number is greatly over what was offered before with over 300 courses now online.

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