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College Subsidizes Travel and Storage for Financial Aid Recipients

The Financial Aid Office has offered storage and moving stipends in advance of the Sunday move out date.
The Financial Aid Office has offered storage and moving stipends in advance of the Sunday move out date. By Sara Komatsu
By Benjamin L. Fu and Dohyun Kim, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard College’s Financial Aid Office and student organizations like the Undergraduate Council are working to reimburse travel costs and provide storage and shipping options ahead of Sunday’s move-out deadline, which was implemented as the University attempts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Undergraduates with a financial aid package that does not require a parent contribution will be fully reimbursed for any costs required to return home, according to the Dean of Students Office. Other students who receive financial aid will be reimbursed up to $750 depending on how much aid they receive, with exceptions beyond that limit being made on a case-by-case basis.

The University’s dedicated coronavirus-related planning information website announced that some students would receive support with unanticipated travel and storage costs. On Thursday, the College provided a more specific explanation of the guidelines and eligibility for receiving financial aid for travel.

With the College’s Tuesday announcement asking students to leave campus as soon as possible and no later than Sunday, many students were uncertain as to how they would finance their way home or store their items over the next several months.

The Dean of Students Office stationed staff in locations around the school — including in upperclassman houses, the Smith Campus Center, and Annenberg Dining Hall — for students to get assistance on making travel plans.

Finding off-campus storage or shipping belongings back home was also a concern for many students. A day after the announcement that students must leave, the College announced that all students who receive financial aid are eligible for a $200 shipping or storage credit. Students not on financial aid will have costs charged to their term bill.

The Undergraduate Council also worked to facilitate the move-out, announcing its “Storage Relief Program” in an email to students on Wednesday evening. The program aims to supplement the College’s $200 grant to cover the remaining $55 that is required for the first level of storage with Olympia Moving & Storage, according to the email.

Throughout Wednesday and Thursday, other student groups and Harvard affiliates worked to arrange emergency aid and assistance including the Asian American Christian Fellowship, graduate school students, and Primus — an organization for first-generation, low-income students that disseminated a moving-out guide.

—Staff writer Benjamin L. Fu can be reached at benjamin.fu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenFu_2.

—Staff writer Dohyun Kim can be reached at dohyun.kim@thecrimson.com.

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CollegeUndergraduate CouncilCollege LifeFinancial AidCollege NewsCoronavirus