Local colleges benefiting from the CARES Act

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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The COVID-19 pandemic effectively ended on-campus learning for this school year.

The CARES Act is giving money to schools based on general enrollment and the number of students with a high degree of financial need.

Southeastern got $2.1 million, and half of the money is allocated to reimburse students.

"Students had to be eligible to fill out a FAFSA or be eligible for financial aid, students couldn't be 100% online in terms of course delivery, and international or undocumented students were not eligible for the funds," said SOSU president Thomas Newsom.

To compare, Austin College got $1.3 million, and Grayson College raked in nearly $2.2 million from the federal government.

The Texoma school that got the most money: North Central Texas College in Gainesville, they got $3.8 million.

"So our students got anywhere from $33 if they were just taking one credit hour, to about $806," said Newsom.

What students do with that new cash is up to them.

"They can use it for anything, they can use it for living expenses, they can use it to pay for student loans if they wanted to," said Newsom.

The other half of the money goes to reimburse the school for expenses related to the pandemic.

Dr. Newsom said its too soon to tell if these funds will fully offset what they lost this semester, but they do have something set up for students who weren't eligible for CARES money.

"So we have set up a fund through our foundation that we're soliciting donations called "Shelter for the Storm" fund. We're going to use that much like we used the CARES funds," said Newsom.