Forward Together Update

February 25, 2021

Dear Panther Community,

Although the massive winter storm that hit the county last week slowed the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, there are encouraging signs those numbers are starting to improve.

This morning it was announced that some 622,000 vaccines have been administered in Iowa and that by next week nearly 70% of people in the first tier of eligible individuals will have been vaccinated. Once that threshold is reached, vaccines become available to the next eligible group.

More information on the vaccine roll-out process, including projected timelines for distribution to Iowans, is expected to be available starting tomorrow on a new website created by the state. 

For those 65 and older, Black Hawk County has announced that vaccine availability is continuing to expand through the federal retail pharmacy program. These pharmacies will identify when vaccines and appointments are available: CVS Pharmacies, Evans Crossing Pharmacy, Greenwood Pharmacy, Hy-Vee Pharmacies and Walgreens Pharmacies. Healthcare providers are also contacting their patients to schedule appointments. If you don't have a healthcare provider, please call the Black Hawk County Health Department 319-292-2360.

Stimulus Funds

UNI has received $3.8 million in federal relief funds in Spring 2021 to assist eligible students in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Funds available to students are based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a formula established by federal law. Unlike funding available last year, students do not need to apply for these benefits. Instead, the federal government has directed that these grants will be distributed to our students with exceptional need, as identified by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Eligible students will be notified via email in the coming days outlining the funding and additional details regarding the disbursement and usage of these funds. To be eligible, individuals must be U.S. citizens enrolled as a graduate or undergraduate student for spring 2021 and meet the need parameters based on the results of the 2020-2021 FAFSA.

The grants, ranging from $1,000-$1,200, can be used to help cover expenses related to the cost of attendance (e.g., food, housing and utilities, health insurance, including mental health care, transportation, or child care) or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.

More details can be found on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II website. If you have any questions, please email the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at

If you have a question, please visit or email it to Thanks for all that you do to keep yourself, your family and the Panther community safe. 

Stay Well,

John Vallentine,
Associate Provost for Faculty

Joseph Rayzor,
Director of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety