May 7, 2020 Update

Information/Updates for Students, Faculty and Staff

Refunds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to begin Friday, May 8 


Recently you may have erroneously been sent an email notifying you that your payment plan installment was late. We apologize for this and are working to rectify those accounts. The late fee will be removed as quickly as possible. If this affects you, you will not be responsible for this fee. Again, we apologize for this mistake.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF has provided the University of Southern Indiana funding for emergency financial aid grants to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. The Department of Education encourages the University to prioritize the majority of the funding stream to students who demonstrate significant need. In addition, only students who qualify for Title IV aid are eligible for HEERF assistance. 

These funds are intended to help students with costs associated with being displaced from campus. Amounts range from $200 to $800 based on the student’s need, enrollment status, and other criteria established by the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) Office. For questions about your award amount, please contact the SFA Office at 

Refunds for HEERF assistance will begin Friday, May 8. Students who have set up eRefunds (direct deposit) through TouchNet should begin to see refunds in their bank accounts within two to three business days, subject to the funds availability policy of their bank. Refund checks will be issued and mailed beginning Friday, May 8 for students who have not enrolled in eRefunds. Students who see a CARES award on their account but have not received a refund by Monday, May 18 should contact the Bursar’s Office at 

The CARES Act does not allow the University to apply funds to a student’s past due balance. A student who owes the University is still expected to have their balance resolved by June 30 to maintain fall enrollment and remain in good standing with the University. For information about payment plans, please visit the Bursar’s Office website at 

Students who did not qualify for the first distribution of HEERF monies may still be eligible for future assistance. Announcements about additional funding will be posted on the USI COVID-19 website as they become available.  

Students enrolled in an online program, international, or DACA students are not eligible for CARES Act funding, but may request emergency assistance by submitting a Financial Care Team referral.   

Employee case of COVID-19 confirmed 

USI has been notified of an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 and was on the USI campus last Tuesday, April 28. The employee self-reported the positive diagnosis yesterday, Tuesday, May 5. Read the full statement 

New informational Zoom sessions scheduled for May 15

President Ronald Rochon will address the campus community via two Zoom sessions from 9-10 a.m. and 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, May 15. These sessions are open to all students, employees and retirees. Each session can accommodate up to 500 participants. Instructions to join the meetings will be emailed in the coming days.   

In a departure from previous moderated Q&A sessions, these will be live informational sessions that can accommodate a larger audience size. Both sessions will be recorded and made available for viewing on the COVID-19 website. Participants will hear from President Rochon as well as leaders of task force committees. 

New tabs added to COVID-19 page: Task Force and Here and Now Fund  

The USI COVID-19 website has been updated with easy-to-find buttons at the top of the page linking to information about the president’s task force and the USI Foundation’s Here and Now Fund for gifts to support students. The task force button will be the location of future updates and details about the work the committees are doing to create a plan for a safe return to campus.

President Rochon to appear on “In-Depth with Brad Byrd” tonight 

President Rochon will appear on the Eyewitness News “In Depth with Brad Byrd” news program at 9 p.m. tonight, May 7. The segment with Dr. Rochon should begin around 9:10 p.m. Listen in to hear what he has to say about the state of the University and its response to COVID-19.  

COVID In the News Page added 

A new page has been added to the COVID-19 website highlighting pandemic-related news coverage on USI, and news items featuring USI faculty and staff. 

Recognizing the Class of 2020 

At the suggestion of Ingrid Lindy 90the USI Alumni Association coordinated an effort for alumni to send handwritten messages to the Class of 2020. Seventy-three USI employees and alumni wrote 1,731 personal notes to graduates! The Alumni Association continues to seek short congratulatory messages for the Class of 2020 through its 20 for 20 online campaignMore than 100 alumni, employees and parents have already contributed!   

Class of 2020 mosaic 

Student Development Programs organized a live photo mosaic wall for students. They texted photos and posted them on social media using #USISeniorWeek20 to create a mosaic effect on the Class of 2020 photo taken in The Quad. Download the photo or order prints.