Over 90 percent of direct student financial aid is being recuperated by Haskell Indian Nations University’s (HINU) new online fee structure appropriating CARES Act funding designated for student aid making it available to the univeristy.
Fall fees increased almost 200 percent compared to previous off-campus fees, from $240 to $715. The Office of the President announced $780 in direct student aid, but the new fee structure allows the university to recover over 90 percent of the aid money leaving students with just $65 after enrollment fees that HINU says can be used for “housing, food, and childcare”.
Inadvertently, students may also be partially funding their own aid. In a letter, the Office of the President said, “The CARES Act does not allow students who are ineligible for Title IV to receive these funds; however, Haskell is making other emergency funds available to these students.” Roughly 30 percent of HINU student’s are ineligible for Title IV requiring HINU to find approximately $175,000 in non-CARES Act funding; a student fee increase may have been necessary to allow HINU to reallocate funds to provide matching student aid to ineligible Title IV students.
The aid money meant to defray the increased financial burden during the COVID-19 pandemic does little to help students when the university responds by raising the fees. The estimated yearly cost of attendance for a student who lived on campus went from $8,550 to $17,172 by closing campus housing. The $65 that students receive after the new fee increases is less then 1 percent of their new $8,622 financial burden for those who’ve had to find their own housing.
EDITORS NOTE: Following this article, Haskell Indian Nations University has since created a technology grant to further aid students. See announcement.