Wallace Community College Dothan began disbursing Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act grants to eligible students this week.
The grants are intended to assist eligible students affected by the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the costs of technology, course materials, health care, child care and housing.
Eligible students enrolled this spring will receive a direct payment of $585.
Students will need to self-certify to be eligible, with directions that can be found in their student email. The date to certify has been extended until 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 20.
After this distribution, all remaining CARES Act funds will be disbursed by July 1 through a needs-based application process. Only those students identified as eligible to receive CARES Act aid in the spring semester will be qualified to apply.
The college originally planned to provide each student enrolled in a tuition-based course a grant of $350. However, specific eligibility guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education on April 21 eliminated certain student populations from receiving CARES Act funding. Dual-enrollment students, those enrolled in online-only classes and short-term workforce development students were denied funding.
Not left out
To provide financial assistance to those student populations as well, the college’s president, Dr. Linda C. Young, requested and received approval from its two foundations to issue direct support to those ineligible students. They will have the option to receive a cash foundation emergency aid grant or a three-credit hour course in either the summer or fall of this year.
“We felt it was important to offer assistance to the students who were not eligible to receive the CARES Act funding,” Young said. “These students experienced the disruption as well, and I am so appreciative that our Wallace and Sparks Campus Foundation boards agreed to support them in this manner.”
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 by President Donald Trump. It provides colleges and universities emergency funds to be distributed to students eligible to receive Title IV funds. The amount provided to each school is based on the number of students eligible for federal Pell Grants during the most recent academic year.
Grateful for help
“The funds will help students succeed through this transition period and will perhaps lessen the financial burden they are carrying,” Young said. “On behalf of WCCD students, I would like to thank President Trump and Congress for assisting our students through this challenging time.”