Photo courtesy EPCC
El Paso Community College (EPCC) announced Wednesday that the college can provide additional financial relief for students whose education has been impacted by COVID-19.
Officials say EPCC will be distributing funds to students as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This is the third allocation of funding which is part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) made available by congress to help institutions and students cope from the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As directed by the U.S. Department of Education, funding will be available directly to students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. EPCC students will be able to apply for these funds starting July 19th via this link.
Students experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic who are registered for the fall semester may apply for $750 if enrolled part-time and $1,000 if they are enrolled full-time.
College officials point out that this monetary assistance does not have to be paid back. Students who receive this emergency aid may apply their grant to any COVID-19 related expense including housing, food, mental healthcare, childcare, rent or even tuition.
“The American Rescue Plan is an important investment to ensure that students in our region have the resources they need to stay on track and complete their degrees,” Fernie Flores, Associate Vice President of Budget and Finance said.
At EPCC, more than 85 percent of students receive some type of financial aid. Even prior to the pandemic a significant number of students were already experiencing insecurity in meeting basic needs such as food, housing and tuition.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more challenging circumstances for our students and ARPA funding will help ease their burden,” Keri Moe, Associate Vice President of External Relations, Communication & Development said. “Even though times may feel uncertain, now is the best time to pursue or finish a college degree. Not only do college graduates earn more, the jobs of the future will require some sort of degree or certificate and this funding helps ensure that students can meet their emergency needs and achieve their goals.”
EPCC’s Office of Financial Aid will be distributing funds to students based on the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. The funds will be available to students on a first-come, first-served basis.
Students simply need to apply and the college will send funds directly to those who qualify or they can elect to apply funding to tuition. Application is available online