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CARES Act Funds Allocated To Local Colleges

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The CARES Act, or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, has allocated funds to local colleges.

Amount Received

The College of DuPage has received the largest portion of funding for Illinois’ 14th District, receiving $9.1 million.

Benedictine will receive $3.3 million, while North Central College will receive $2.4 million.

What is the CARES Act?

The act was passed by Congress to provide economic relief from losses suffered due to COVID-19. A portion of the funds were allocated to be used by higher education for emergency financial aid grants to be issued to students. At least 50% of funds received by schools must directly be spent on grants for students.

Who is Eligible?

From Benedictine’s Press Release:

Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow the emergency grant funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only (online) degree programs. If you are a student from one of these groups, there is another form of emergency aid available from Benedictine University as outlined in the FAQ section.

How Schools May Spend Funding

From the IRS:

Section 18004 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary of Education to allocate funds out of the Higher Education Relief Fund to higher education institutions to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures.  These funds may be used (1) to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and (2) for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”  Recipient higher education institutions must pay no less than 50 percent of these funds to students as emergency financial aid grants.

Related CARES Act Content:

Reinvest DuPage Aims to Help Small Businesses

NACC Hosts Virtual Town Hall with U.S. Representatives

Xilin Association and AgeGuide start Senior Food Delivery Pilot Program

Governor Announces Schools Closed for Rest of School Year