So, you were at school, and all of sudden things were turned upside down. Classes were cancelled, dorms were closed, dining halls were all of a sudden not serving, and you were left scrambling to find a way to exist and maintain.
Many colleges went to online classes or distance learning, but what about those students who relied on school for housing and meals?
What about those parents who relied on campus daycare? What about those students who didn’t have immediate access to a computer?
Students were left scrambling to find a way to even survive the semester.
President Trump signed the CARES Act, which was supposed to get aid to these floundering students, but some institutions and students have yet to see their money.
Here Is What We Know
Each school must establish how they are going to hand out the federal grants to students.
Start with a FAFSA. Many schools are requiring that a FAFSA be completed before they will do anything.
Your school may require an application. This is a way to establish student need. It will most likely ask you why you need the money. It will require that you show what additional expenses the disruption of classes has caused.
Schools are INUNDATED with requests. At St. Petersburg College in Florida, they received 3,900 requests just the first day that requests were taken. They then have to sift through each and every application, and decide who gets money, and how much they get.
There are a lot of schools, especially privates, that are trying to take it slow, but we knew our students were going to need funding as quickly as possible. The moment we ceased campus operations, we started looking at what we could do to help our studentsWayne Kruger, representative for St. Petersburg College
Some schools are still waiting on funds from the government. They had to establish an account with GRANTS.gov, which was a feat in itself, and then they wait.
Just like some people are still waiting for their stimulus checks, there are some institutions that are still waiting on grant money, so they can go through the process of getting that money to those students who desperately need it.
You must qualify for the grant to receive the money. You must be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying noncitizen. Other requirements include the need of a Social Security number, a high school diploma, GED, or have completed an approved homeschool, and if you are a male student, you must have registered with Selective Service.
You also have to show that you have a new expense related to the school closing for the coronavirus.
(CARES Act funds are for) expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
There isn’t a set amount that you will receive if you qualify. That is left up to each institution as to who and how the funds will be given out.
If you aren’t a “qualifying student,” check with your institution. Some universities and colleges have private funds set aside to help students in need.