SDCCD students to receive federal emergency grants due to COVID-19
April 23, 2021 |
The San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) Board of Trustees accepted an additional $97 million of federal stimulus money being awarded to support students through the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
A minimum of $38 million will be provided in direct aid payments to help students financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the remaining funds will support instructional and operational costs to help the SDCCD cover added expenses due to the crisis.
Direct aid to students will be provided for food, housing, childcare, health care, or student fees to allow students to continue with their education during the economic and health crisis. The SDCCD and San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, and the San Diego College of Continuing Education will use the remaining funds for additional expenses incurred during the pandemic, including the costs associated with transitioning to online instruction, purchasing laptops for students, additional student support services, and impact of lost revenue.
“The SDCCD is grateful for the additional infusion of federal funding,” said SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll. “These funds are needed to help students continue their studies and stay enrolled while supporting them in navigating the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also help the district cope with the myriad costs associated with the massive conversion to online instruction and remote operations”
Federal funding is being distributed through multiple acts with two of the most recent being $35 million received through HEERF II, which was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act signed into law on December 27, 2020. The remaining $62 million is as a result of HEERF III and was authorized by the American Rescue Plan of 2021. The SDCCD’s Board of Trustees officially accepted the funding on behalf of the district at its April 22 meeting.
The federal government has specific requirements as to when funds must be fully used and for what purposes and require quarterly status reports as the funds are expended.
Students will soon receive emails inviting them to complete a SDCCD Student Relief Form Application for HEERF dollars. Students must be enrolled this spring and priority will be given to those with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive federal Pell grants.
SDCCD officials say the need is considerable. Nearly 60% of students at Mesa College, 54% of Miramar College students, and 48% of City College students who were surveyed last year said they were suffering through a loss of income because of the pandemic.
Emergency funds will not affect a student’s current or future ability to receive financial aid such as scholarship or grants.