The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $5.6 million to the San Mateo County Community College District. The District will be using 75% of these funds to provide direct emergency cash grants to our students to assist with expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.The District will be investing the remaining 25% of the funding in faculty and staff professional development and technology needs related to the transition to remote teaching and learning. See funding breakdown below:
What are the student eligibility requirements for the grant?
Students who have Pell grant funding have already been notified that they will receive a CARES Act grant. The college financial aid offices are currently identifying other students to receive these grants. Those students will be notified as they are identified.
The CARES Act allows funding according to these criteria:
- Students who are enrolled in 6-12+ units
- U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
- Students with valid Social Security Number (SSN)
- Male students registered with the Selective Service
- Students with a high school diploma or GED
- Students in programs leading to a degree or certificate
How much in emergency funds can students expect?
- Pell Grant Students
- 6-11 Units: $800/student
- 12 + Units: $1,100/student
- Non Pell Grant Students
- 6-11 Units: $500/student
- 12 + Units: $650/student
What can the money be used for?
- Students can use the CARES grant to pay for food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, transportation, and childcare.
How do students apply?
- Pell Grant students do not need to apply. Students will receive a notification from the college financial aid offices.
- Non-Pell Grant students will be emailed a notification from their college if they are eligible to receive CARES Act funds. This email will instruct them to complete an application form that the financial aid offices will use to confirm their eligibility. After financial aid reviews the form, the student’s eligibility status will update under the student’s financial aid status in WebSmart.
When will the funds be dispersed?
- Funds are being disbursed via the District’s financial aid partner, BankMobile, beginning May 20. In light of college funding timeline and prioritization of funds, not all students will receive awarding at the same time.
- 67% of the available student allocation will be disbursed to students in the spring; 33% will be disbursed in the fall semester.
What should I tell students about this?
- There is no need to identify or communicate with students who may be receiving this funding. The college financial aid offices are identifying and directly notifying students who qualify.
What about students who were left out of the CARES Act?
Unfortunately, the CARES Act left out some of our most vulnerable student groups such as undocumented students. In an effort to address the shortfall in the CARES Act, the District and the San Mateo County Community College Foundation (SMCCCF) have created an Undocumented Student Fund in support of these critical members of our campus communities. The fund makes more than $160,000 available for emergency scholarships to over 500 undocumented students in the District. All undocumented students, regardless of unit load, GPA, or other criteria, will be awarded $322.
To support the Undocumented Student Fund, please give online.
More information will be forthcoming about plans for the professional development and technology funding. Please watch your District communications for updates.