SUA Distributes Third Round of Coronavirus Relief Funds to Expanded Pool of Eligible Students

November 05, 2021
Tagged as:
Ruthie Kihuguru
Ruthie Kihuguru ’24

SUA was recently awarded $459,114 in US federal coronavirus relief funds for eligible students. This is the third round of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and the first time the Department of Education has allowed distribution of federal funds to international, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), and undocumented students. Eligible SUA students were awarded HEERF III funds last week.

In previous HEERF rounds, SUA supported international, DACA, and undocumented students with university funds. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Soka has awarded students in need of financial assistance more than $1.3 million in HEERF and internal funding.

Ruthie Kihuguru ’24, a second-year student from Uganda, said the help comes at an opportune time.

“In the wake of the social and economic consequences of COVID-19 across the globe, this pleasant surprise lifted a considerable amount of weight from me,” Kihuguru said. “As someone who is neurodivergent and suffers from frequent migraines and headaches, this offer allows me to take better care of myself without worrying about running low on personal funds. I am now better equipped to focus on my health, which will translate positively into how well I perform in my studies, at work, and around friends and faculty members.”

Kihuguru said the funds should also help immunocompromised and disabled students protect themselves from the effects of the pandemic.

“Even though social solidarity through wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and acts of service that benefit immunocompromised and disabled folks are at the core of genuine care,” she said, “this relief fund is a definite sustenance. I am profusely grateful to everyone who was involved in making this a reality.”