CARES Act Student Emergency Relief Grants

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Whittier College has received federal funding through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to provide assistance to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations resulting from the coronavirus.

Eligible students can request support for the following categories of expense:

  • Food
  • Housing 
  • Course Materials 
  • Technology
  • Health Care
  • Childcare expenses
  • Other Expenses (The College may consider expenses that do not fit any of the above.) 

Eligibility

According to federal regulations, you may be eligible for CARES Act funding if you were enrolled in at least one face-to-face course during the 2020 Spring semester.

You completed a FAFSA application for 2019-2020 or 2020-2021; OR

  • You meet the Title IV eligibility requirements including but not limited to:
  • U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen
  • Valid social security number
  • Registration with the Selective Service if the student is male
  • High school diploma, GED, or have completed high school in an approved homeschool setting

International and non-U.S.-citizen students that do not meet these requirements are not eligible for CARES Act funding. If you need financial assistance, the College offers other emergency funding options.

Applying for a Relief Grant

The College may conduct multiple rounds of funding until all federal funds are exhausted. The first round will be conducted through direct outreach to students who received Pell grants for the 2019-2020 academic year in compliance with the Department of Education’s instruction to prioritize students with the greatest need. Subsequent rounds will be open to all eligible students. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The availability of funds will determine the timeline for subsequent rounds of funding. 

Online Application 

Timeline

Round One (Pell recipients)

Application opens on May 13, 2020, and is due by May 20, 2020. 

Round Two (All eligible students)

Application opens on May 27, 2020, and is due by June 3, 2020.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides financial support to individuals and organizations affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

The CARES Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) that provides more than $14 billion in emergency funding to higher education. Of those funds, more than $6 billion must go directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants (HEERF-student share) for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Whittier College will receive a total of $1,879,550 of which at least half ($939,775) must be provided directly to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child care. The other half may be used by the College to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

How much will I receive?

Whittier College committed to equitably assist all eligible students financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to the greatest extent possible with the CARES Act funds available. You should request funds based on your actual financial need for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child care. First-time awards will be capped at $575. You may receive an additional grant if your circumstances change or if funds remain available after the first two application rounds are complete. 

How will I receive emergency relief?

Emergency relief funds will be directly deposited to student bank accounts already on file with Whittier College Payroll or listed on the Whittier CARES application form. The application form will be encrypted to protect your privacy. Checks will be mailed to students who are unable to receive direct deposit.

Do I need to repay the money?

No, you are not required to repay any emergency relief provided through the CARES Act.

Can I apply for funding more than once?

There may be the opportunity to apply for additional emergency relief depending on the total number of applications received and the amounts requested. We will make a determination after the first two application cycles are complete and will inform the campus community via Poet Updates and this webpage. Additional assistance may also be available through Whittier College’s emergency funding.

Does this funding affect my other financial aid?

No. This is an emergency grant to help you manage unexpected expenses related to the coronavirus, and it will not have any impact on other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

What if I still have an account balance?

Any CARES Act funding awarded to you will be paid to you directly and will not be applied to outstanding student account balances owed to Whittier College. Any outstanding balance owed to Whittier College remains the responsibility of the student.

Are CARES Emergency Grants taxable?

No, CARES Act student relief grants are not subject to federal and state tax according to the IRS nor can they be claimed as a deduction or credit “for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit.”

How many students have received Emergency Financial Aid Grants?

No Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed yet. We will update this information at least every 45 days as required by the CARES Act.

What is the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed by Whittier College? 

No Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed yet. We will update this information at least every 45 days as required by the CARES Act.

Who can I contact for more information?

Questions about CARES Act funding can be sent to caresrelief@whittier.edu.


Assurance

This emergency student aid program is funded by a $939,775 grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the CARES Act (PR/Award No. P425E202004). Whittier College acknowledges that it signed the Certification and Agreement and returned it to the Department of Education on April 13, 2020. The College further assures that of the total $1,879,550 received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, no less than 50 percent ($939,775) will be used to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Whittier College students.

 


Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund Reporting

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
Report #1 - May 12, 2020