Strapped college students are eligible for CARES Act assistance

Suzanne Monaghan
May 18, 2020 - 2:23 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — College students who are suffering financially due to the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for grants as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The federally funded program is intended to put cash in the pockets of strapped students, but not for tuition or study-related expenses.

“It’s really meant to go for other expenses you have incurred as a result of the health emergency,” explained Shawn Abbott, vice provost for admissions, financial aid and enrollment management at Temple University. “Specifically with regard to things like housing, food insecurity, technology, internet, health care and child care.”

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The money was first issued to colleges and universities — most should have received the funds by the end of April. Students are then able to apply through their college, and the school will then distribute the payment directly to the student. 

The money given to each school was based on several criteria, including the number of Pell Grant students who are enrolled.

“But the colleges and universities were free to create their own awarding processes with the expectation that the funding needs to go directly to the student and not the institution,” Abbott added.

It is also up to each college to determine the amount students receive and the deadline to apply. 

“For students that do not have eligibility with the federal government to receive this kind of funding,” Abbott continued, “that doesn’t mean that's the only way that students can get some type of relief on their college, university campuses.”