Tacoma Community College (TCC) will receive $3,835,874 from the Federal Government as a result of the CARES Act, which is disbursing emergency aid to help colleges and other organizations across the country deal with financial concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The first half of the funding has arrived this week. As stipulated by the CARES Act, the initial payment of almost $2 million will be distributed directly to students, who will be able to apply for funds starting the week of May 4.
The college has developed a process to quickly distribute the funds, while prioritizing eligible students with the greatest need. Students will be able to request funds through a simple online form and can use the money to pay for housing, food, childcare, transportation, and other essential needs. Because it is grant-based aid, students will not need to repay the funds.
“We know that this is a difficult time for many of our students,” said TCC President Ivan L. Harrell, II, Ph.D. “We admire them so much for their resiliency and commitment to their education. We hope these funds will make it possible for our students to stay the course with college, while also addressing their personal needs.”
Students are eligible to apply for funding if they are currently enrolled at TCC, if they are eligible to complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), and if they were not enrolled in all-online classes during winter quarter.
CARES funding applicants can be awarded up to $1,000 for spring quarter. Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, students will be able to re-apply for funds in subsequent quarters.
TCC supports all students and has made its own emergency funding broadly available. An emergency assistance grant is available for all currently enrolled students who demonstrate financial need, including DACA and undocumented students. So far, about $23,000 has been distributed to more than 100 students. The TCC Foundation also donated $60K to buy 250 laptops for students, most of which have been distributed.
TCC leadership is currently creating a plan to use the second half of the CARES funds, which will be paid to the college.