Elizabeth City State University students who plan to live in on-campus housing during the spring 2022 semester will automatically receive $1,500 toward their housing and meal plan costs, the university recently announced.

The financial assistance is part of the VikingPLUS program, a comprehensive set of initiatives to help students afford their college education, and is made possible by the federal COVID-19 funding the university has received since the start of the pandemic.

ECSU Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon said the university is “excited to extend the this opportunity” to students as a way to “nurture their efforts to discover their passions and achieve their dreams.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an economic impact on many families,” she said. “While our students are busy discovering their passions and paving the path toward their futures, they should not be worrying about finances.”

For students planning to live on campus this spring, there is no application process or extra steps to receive the funds. The funding will automatically be applied to their accounts, ECSU said.

ECSU has already awarded more than $3.8 million in emergency grants to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through both VikingPLUS and the decision to expand the housing and meal plan grants to next spring, ECSU expects to award an additional $1.4 million to 950 students who are projected to live on campus.

The VikingPLUS funds are awarded on an ongoing basis, and do not affect financial aid eligibility, ECSU said.