This week, Patrick Henry Community College sent notices to almost 900 students telling them to expect a check from the college. The money these students will soon receive is from the U.S. Department of Education’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provides Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students and is distributed by colleges. PHCC received $741,862 from the CARES Act and will be distributing 100% of those funds to students. These funds are meant to provide support to students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial burdens that it has caused.
Because many students’ lives have been disrupted by the situation caused by COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Education created the CARES Act pledging to give more than $6 billion to colleges and universities to distribute to students. The Act detailed how each school would allocate the funds according to a formula weighted by the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment of Pell-eligible recipients. This formula also took into account the total population of the school and the number of students who were not enrolled exclusively online before the coronavirus outbreak.
“This money will be a huge help to our students –and for some, it will be meeting a critical need – as such, our team is working to get the money into our students’ hands as quickly as possible,” says PHCC’s President Dr. Angeline Godwin.
Being eligible for this money will depend on a number of factors, the biggest factor is FAFSA completion. Students who have not completed the FAFSA for the 2019/2020 academic year will have until May 26 to do so. Another key eligibility factor is whether the student was enrolled in at least one face-to-face class and at least six credit hours at PHCC on March 13, 2020. To see a complete list of eligibility requirements, students should go to www.patrickhenry.edu/caresact
Students who are eligible to receive the funding should expect a check or a direct deposit of more than $500 within the next few weeks. Students who were eligible for the spring funding will also receive a second smaller disbursement of funds when they take summer courses at PHCC and a third disbursement of funds when they take fall classes. The exact date for the second and third dispersals has not been determined yet. Students do not need to apply for any of these funds; the disbursements will automatically be sent to the eligible students.
In addition to this student aid, Patrick Henry Community College expects to receive institutional funding through the CARES Act as well. Although many of the details regarding the institutional funds are still unknown, the college is currently planning to use these funds to offset any fiscal challenges that may be expected due to the pandemic.