USA Funds to Award $400,000 to Aid College Students Affected by Tornadoes

Colleges in five states may apply for grants to help students

May 31, 2011, 12:41 ET from USA Funds

INDIANAPOLIS, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- USA Funds®, a nonprofit organization that helps Americans benefit from higher education, has announced that it has allocated nearly $400,000 to help college students whose education plans have been adversely affected by recent tornado outbreaks.

Eligible postsecondary institutions in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee may apply for grants through the Disaster Relief Fund for Postsecondary Education Students. Schools, in turn, may use the funds to assist lower-income students who suffered financial hardships as a result of the tornado outbreaks in those states from April 15 to April 28. In addition, USA Funds is inviting postsecondary institutions in Joplin, Mo., to apply for funding to assist students affected by the May 22 tornado in that community. Schools will be able to award supplemental financial aid of up to $1,000 per student to help them pay education-related expenses for the 2010-2011 or 2011-2012 academic year.

"Our goal is to help ensure students are not forced to drop out or interrupt their education because of financial hardships created by these natural disasters," said Denise B. Feser, USA Funds senior vice president, School and Student Services.

The Disaster Relief Fund for Postsecondary Education Students will award grants to eligible colleges and universities on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are exhausted. The application deadline is Aug. 31, 2011.

USA Funds originally established the Disaster Relief Fund for Postsecondary Education Students in 2005 to help college students affected by Hurricane Katrina and three other major hurricanes that year. Scholarship America administers the fund.

College financial aid administrators at eligible institutions can obtain further details and apply for funding by visiting

Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. For more information about USA Funds, visit