More than 2,500 Gordon State College students will receive federal funding as part of stimulus package recently passed by Congress. The funding has been made available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will be distributed "immediately" by the U.S. Department of Education, officials said.
The CARES Act provides nearly $14 billion to support postsecondary education students and institutions. The allocation to Gordon State totals $3.4 million, and will be dispersed in two phases. Gordon State’s has been awarded $1,713,746 in the first phase of grants for students.
Gordon State is required to utilize the funds to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare. Grants in the Cares Act target minority-serving institutions that enroll many Pell Grant-eligible students.
“We are so thankful to be able to support our students through this funding provided by the CARES Act,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Dr. John Head. “Over half of our students qualify for the federal Pell grant, so we know that their needs are great under normal circumstances. This funding is going to hopefully help them survive during this difficult period.
“Our faculty and staff have been great about maintaining contact with our students. We have heard of many instances of technology needs in order to do their work and we have tried to address those situations whenever possible. However, we have also heard many stories of students and their families struggling with food insecurity, loss of income, and uncertainty about being able to pay the rent. This funding is coming at the right time and we will be getting this money to our students as quickly as possible.”
Gordon State’s grants are split into three funds: GSC CARES Grant, GSC Emergency Assistance Grant and the GSC COVID Emergency Fund. Based on their enrollment status and their demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA, students may receive grants as high as $700 through the GSC CARES Grant plus the GSC Emergency Assistance Grant. These funds will not be available to transient students or dual enrollment students.
The third fund, the GSC COVID Emergency Fund, will be open to all students. All GSC students will be eligible to complete an application and provide documents to receive a grant to assist with emergency expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Gordon’s Dean of Students will be charged with selecting and leading a campus review committee to receive and review applications for the GSC COVID Emergency Fund.
Complete information about the grants and the application process for the GSC COVID Emergency fund will be sent in an email to students and posted on the GSC website