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UCM Announces New Campus Initiatives for Students Amid COVID-19

By UCM News Bureau , May 15, 2020

 Administration Building UCM

WARRENSBURG, MO - While the University of Central Missouri recently concluded the spring semester, much work is being done across campus to adjust as proactively as possible in this new environment while prioritizing the safety and needs of our students as we look toward the fall 2020 semester. Several new initiatives have been announced by university leadership.

2020 Commencement

While our annual spring commencement ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic, UCM has an opportunity to celebrate students’ successes through graduation exercises that are being planned for Saturday, August 1. Three different ceremonies will take place that day. The commencement committee is working on this event, and more specific details will be announced as they are finalized.

 

Test Optional Admissions

Many colleges and universities are considering whether it is possible for one common tool such as a standardized test to equitably measure a student’s potential. After studying national data that suggests the high school GPA is a better predictor of success, UCM is moving to a test optional admissions process, effective for fall 2020. UCM already planned to implement this initiative for the fall 2021 enrollment cycle. This is an opportunity to alleviate a lot of stress that incoming students face, particularly amid challenging circumstances.

Students applying to UCM with a 3.5 GPA or higher may now be admitted without submitting an ACT or SAT test score. While this new criteria removes barriers for most students, a qualifying ACT or SAT test is still required for students interested in the following: Direct Entry Nursing Program; education majors (possible exemption from the MOGEA exam), Honors College, automatic merit scholarships, and NCAA athletics.

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Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

UCM received $3.4 million in funding for emergency student grants made possible through the federal CARES Act. The purpose of this money is to award emergency grants to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Eligible students have the opportunity to receive automatic emergency grants based on the number of Spring semester hours in which they were enrolled in on March 13, 2020. No application is needed for these funds. Students who have a FAFSA on file with the Financial Aid office and meet the eligibility requirements will receive grants that range from $75 to $450 depending on the number of hours in which they were enrolled. These grants will provide assistance for food, housing, course materials, technology-related expenses, and transportation. Students also have the opportunity to apply for larger amounts of funding. Applications for these funds will be available May 18 and the application deadline is May 31.

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Student Housing Changes

With a strong focus on students, UCM housing is making the following changes for the fall 2020 semester:

  • Revisions to the housing exemption process which will allow students under the age of 21 and those less than junior status who live no more than 65 miles away from campus and who live with a parent or grandparent, to file an exemption to live off campus for the academic year.
  • All residence halls for the coming year will be single occupancy rooms, where each student has their own bedroom but shares a bathroom with another student.
  • Sophomores will be eligible to live at The Crossing – South at Holden.
  • The residence hall deposit fee for new students is being lowered from $100 (with $75 being refundable) to $50 ( $25 refundable).

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The campus community is encouraged to monitor university communications as faculty and staff continue to work together to make UCM an outstanding choice for students.

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