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Student Emergency Relief Aid

WCJC ARP Financial Aid Grant Application - Application now open for Fall 2021 (while ARP student emergency funds remain available)!

 

ARP Emergency Student Aid

General Information

Under Section 2003(a)(1) of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the United States Secretary of Education will allocate $11,142,851 in total funding to Wharton County Junior College (WCJC) to provide emergency assistance in response to the effects of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Of this total allocation, the Department of Education has designated a minimum of $5,631,897 to be distributed to WCJC students in the form of emergency financial aid grants.

Certification and Provision of Funds

Pursuant to Section 314(c)(3) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), WCJC must prioritize the distribution of emergency financial aid grants to students who exhibit exceptional need to use for any component of their cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.

Through reference to guidelines that were established within both ARP and CRRSAA, as well as through the Department of Education, WCJC has formulated a comprehensive plan for the disbursement of emergency financial aid grant funds. Provisions within this plan are meant to prioritize relief aid for those students who demonstrate the greatest immediate need, while also maximizing the number of students who may directly benefit from the emergency aid.

Awards will be available until all ARP student emergency aid has been distributed.

Student Eligibility and Eligible Expenses

In order to be eligible for a WCJC ARP Emergency Aid Grant, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in a credit program at WCJC during the semester in which the funds are requested.
  • Exhibit financial need as delineated within the WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grant Application.
  • Submit a FAFSA for the term in which the funds are requested, have an outstanding debt with the college for the current term, or otherwise attest to having exceptional financial need.
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the college or making good progress.

WCJC will set a preferred funding threshold limit of $6,495 per student per academic year, in keeping with the maximum Federal Pell grant allotment for academic year 2021-2022. In keeping with the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, the WCJC Office of Financial Aid will not include individual emergency financial aid grants as part of the calculations related to a student’s expected family contribution.

WCJC ARP Emergency Aid Grant funds may be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or emergency costs related to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include:

  • Tuition and fees;
  • Books;
  • Food;
  • Housing;
  • Healthcare, including mental health;
  • Child care.

Awards will be available until all ARP student emergency aid has been distributed.

Awards by Term
Award disbursement will begin in August 2021.  Awards will remain available until all ARP student emergency aid has been distributed.
Grant Calculation Determination

WCJC ARP Emergency Aid Grants will be available to those WCJC students who meet all eligibility requirements as listed above. Awardees must verify that they have experienced exceptional financial need and that they require funds to help pay for their cost of attendance and/or emergency costs. Eligible students may receive only one emergency grant per semester, unless eligible for the “Exceptional Need Direct Payment” outlined below. 

Emergency Aid Award Amounts

Emergency Aid grant awards will be determined based on a student’s enrollment status with the college during the term for which the aid is awarded:

Semester Credit Hours

Award Amount

12+ SCH

$2,000

6 – 11 SCH

$1,000

3 – 5 SCH

$500

The award amount of $2,000 for a full-time student correlates with the cost of tuition and fees for an out-of-district student enrolled in 12 credit hours.  The award amounts of $1,000 and $500 for a part-time student correlates with the cost of tuition and fees for an out-of-district student enrolled in 6 and 3 credit hours, respectively.

Exceptional Need Direct Payment

Following the end of the Summer 2021 term, awardees who were enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours and display exceptional need[1] will receive and additional direct payment of $300.  This award amount correlates to the cost of tuition and fees for an in-district student enrolled in 3 credit hours.

[1] Defined as having a complete financial aid file and a  Pell-eligible Expected Family Contribution.

Additional Information

Students who have previously attended WCJC during the Coronavirus National Emergency[1] for a minimum of 3 credit hours within one part of term are considered to have historical education-related need.  These students will receive an initial payment of $500 immediately upon approval of their WCJC ARP Emergency Aid Grant application.  The remaining award amount will be disbursed after the census date for the applicable term and will be based on the students’ hours of enrollment on the date of determination.

Eligible students who have not previously attended WCJC during the Coronavirus National Emergency will receive their full payment after the census date for the applicable term. The award amount will be based on the students’ hours of enrollment on the date of determination.

Disbursement of funds will be managed by the WCJC Business Office.  Upon receipt of a list of eligible students, awards will either be directly applied to students’ outstanding debt (with students’ approval) or sent directly to students via automatic deposit or check.  Awards will be available only until all ARP student emergency aid has been awarded.

[1] Defined as between the dates of March 13, 2020 and the date of award determination or the last day of national emergency, whichever comes first.

Direction to Students

All communication for the WCJC ARP Emergency Relief Aid program is managed through a central email address, WCJCCares@wcjc.edu. Eligible students were notified via email regarding the availability of emergency aid grants. Email notifications to students included the following information:

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American Rescue Plan (ARP) Emergency Aid grants are available for WCJC students enrolled in 3+ credit hours for Fall 2021.  Regular enrollment, dual credit, and concurrent enrollment students are eligible for award.  

 

Eligible students qualify for award amounts based on Fall 2021 enrollment hours:

  • 12+ semester credit hours:   $2,000 award 
  • 6 – 11 semester credit hours:  $1,000 award 

  • 3 – 5 semester credit hours:  $500 award 

𝐑𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬, 𝑨𝑷𝑷𝑳𝒀 𝑬𝑨𝑹𝑳𝒀!  

Eligible students who attended at least 3 credit hours at WCJC between March 13, 2020 and August 19, 2021 and are registered for at least 3 credit hours for Fall 2021 will receive an initial payment of $500 once their application has been processed.  Your remaining balance will be awarded on or after September 24, 2021.  Applications must be received by August 12, 2021 to receive early award! 

 

The deadline to apply for these funds is October 29, 2021. More details can be found in the grant application.  APPLY TODAY! 

 

Questions?  Email wcjccares@wcjc.edu

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In addition, students were sent text message notifications indicating that they were eligible for an award and should check their WCJC email for additional information. Text alerts were sent to students with the following message:

WCJC Reminder: Students who have been financially impacted by the pandemic and are enrolled for Fall 2021 are eligible for financial assistance! Check your student email for additional information.

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CRRSAA Emergency Student Aid

General Information
Under Section 314(d)(5) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), the United States Secretary of Education will allocate $6,308,810 in total funding to Wharton County Junior College (WCJC) to provide emergency assistance in response to the effects of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.
Certification and Provision of Funds

The U.S. Department of Education, pursuant to Section 314(d)(5) of CRRSAA, has designated a minimum of $1,530,303 to be distributed to WCJC students in the form of emergency financial aid grants. Pursuant to Section 314(c)(3), WCJC must prioritize the distribution of emergency financial aid grants to students who exhibit exceptional need to use for any component of their cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.

Through reference to guidelines that were established within CRRSAA and on the part of the Department of Education, WCJC has formulated a comprehensive plan for the disbursement of emergency financial aid grant funds. Provisions within this plan are meant to prioritize relief aid for those students who demonstrate the greatest immediate need, while also maximizing the number of students who may directly benefit from the emergency aid.

Student Eligibility and Eligible Expenses

In order to be eligible for a WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grant, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in a credit program at WCJC during the semester in which the funds are requested.
  • Exhibit financial need as delineated within the WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grant Application.
  • Submit a FAFSA for the term in which the funds are requested and/or have an outstanding debt with the college for the current term.
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the college or making good progress.

WCJC will set a preferred funding threshold limit of $6,345 per student per academic year, in keeping with the maximum Federal Pell grant allotment for academic year 2020-2021. In keeping with the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, the WCJC Office of Financial Aid will not include individual emergency financial aid grants as part of the calculations related to a student’s expected family contribution.

Students who meet all eligibility requirements will submit a WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grant Application. The application link will be sent directly to all students via their WCJC email and text message which will include deadlines for application.  Applications will be reviewed and disbursements will be made every two weeks while the application remains open. 

The application will be used solely for the purpose of allowing qualified students to attest to having exceptional financial need and that they require funds to help pay for eligible costs, such as their cost of attendance or emergency costs related to COVID-19. 

Complete your WCJC CRRSAA Emergency Relief Aid Application today! 

WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grant funds may be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or emergency costs related to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include:

  • Tuition and fees;
  • Books;
  • Food;
  • Housing;
  • Healthcare, including mental health;
  • Child care.
Awards

A total of 1565 emergency aid awards were distributed for the Spring and Summer 2021 terms, equating to $1,356,600 in total funds disbursed.

In addition, 451 exceptional-need emergency aid awards were distributed in Summer 2021 to Pell-eligible students, equating to $135,300 in total funds.

Grant Calculation Determination

WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grants will be available to those WCJC students who meet all eligibility requirements as listed above. Awardees must verify that they have experienced exceptional financial need and that they require funds to help pay for their cost of attendance and/or emergency costs. Eligible students may receive only one emergency grant per semester. 

Grant aid amounts for the Spring term will be determined based on a student’s current enrollment status with the college:

Semester Credit Hours Award Amount
12+ SCH $1,200
6 – 11 SCH $600
3 – 5 SCH $300

Summer applicants taking 3 or more credit hours will be eligible for an award amount of $800.  In addition, a priority award amount of $300 was provided to all Emergency Aid recipients who were also a Pell recipient during Summer 2021.  This amount equates to the tuition and fees for one 3-credit hour course at WCJC.

Award amounts were determined based on several key factors, including:

  • Median rent within and across the WCJC service area;
  • Cost of attendance for WCJC students based on enrollment status;
  • National data indicating that ~75% of community college students reported not being confident that they couldaccumulate more than $1,000  for emergency expenses, should the need arise.
Direction to Students

All communication for the WCJC CRRSAA Emergency Direct-to-Student Aid is managed through a central email address, WCJCCares@wcjc.edu. All currently enrolled WCJC students were notified via email regarding the availability of emergency aid grants.  Email notifications that were sent to students included the following information:

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Hello, Pioneers!
 

We know that this year has presented you with many challenges that none of us could have foreseen. We are so proud of your perseverance as you continue toward your academic goals! 

In recognition of these challenges, the United States Department of Education has provided WCJC with emergency funds to be awarded to currently enrolled students to mitigate some of the financial impacts that have resulted from the global pandemic. 

Complete your WCJC CRRSAA Emergency Relief Aid Application today! 
 

To be awarded grant monies, a student must:  

  • Have submitted a XXXXX FAFSA (studentaid.gov) for the term in which the funds are requested and/or have an outstanding debt with the college for the current term; and  
  • Meet citizenship requirements for Title IV Federal student aid (U.S. citizen or permanent resident); and  
  • Be a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency certificate; and  
  • Be enrolled in a credit program at WCJC for at least 3 credit hours on the date of determination of award; and  
  • Not be enrolled at WCJC as a transient student; and  
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the college or making good progress; and  
  • Exhibit financial need as delineated within the WCJC CRRSAA Financial Aid Grant Application. 

The deadline to apply for these funds is XXXXXX.  Funds will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis until funds are depleted.  A student can only receive one CRRSAA award per academic term.  

For questions, please contact the WCJC CARES Oversight Committee at WCJCCares@wcjc.edu 

Once again, we want to thank you for your perseverance during this time and, as always, thank you for choosing WCJC!  

Go Pioneers!

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CARES Act Emergency Student Aid

Please note, all CARES Act Emergency Student Aid has been awarded.  This application is no longer open.

General Information

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the United States Secretary of Education will allocate funding to Wharton County Junior College (WCJC) to provide Emergency Relief funds directly to students who have been financially impacted by the change in college operations resulting from preventative or precautionary measures related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Provisions within the WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid (WCJC CARES) Plan are meant to prioritize relief aid for those students who demonstrate the greatest immediate need, while also maximizing the number of students who may directly benefit from the Emergency Relief aid.  Students registered with WCJC who are qualified to apply for WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid will be contacted and provided an application to apply for the aid.  Questions may be directed to wcjccares@wcjc.edu.

Certification and Provision of Funds

Wharton County Junior College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education on April 14, 2020, verifying that a minimum of $1,530,303 provided through the Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act would be disbursed directly to students in the form of Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

On April 24, 2020, the by the U.S. Department of Education made available the total amount of direct-to-student funds ($1,530,303) for WCJC to draw down upon for disbursement to students. 

Student Eligibility and Eligible Expenses

A total of 1,949 WCJC students were verified as eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, thereby making them eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.  

Eligible students were identified by the Office of Financial Aid based on the parameters provided by the DOE.  In order to be eligible for WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in a credit program at WCJC during the semester in which the funds are requested.
  • Exhibit financial need as delineated within the WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid Application.
  • Be registered for a minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (SCH) for a summer term and six (6) SCH for fall or spring terms.
  • Not have been enrolled exclusively in online courses on March 13, 2020.
  • Submitted a FAFSA for the term in which the funds are requested.
  • Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the criteria of which include (but are not limited to):
    • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
    • Valid Social Security Number;
    • Registration with Selective Service (if the student is a male); and
    • High school diploma, GED, or completion of home school.
  • Be in good academic standing with the college or making good progress.
  • Be in good disciplinary standing with the college.

All eligible students were contacted via email and text message regarding the availability of funds and were sent a link to the WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid Application.  The application process was used to as a means for eligible students to verify that they were financially impacted as a result of the change in college operations to a fully remote environment.

WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid funds are eligible for student expenses related the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Eligible expenses include:

  • Course materials
  • Technology
  • Housing and food
  • Health care
  • Childcare
Awards by Quarter

Quarter One (Close Date: September 30, 2020)

A total of 1,157 awards were distributed during Quarter One, which ended on September 30, 2020.  The total funds disbursed directly to students by the end of Quarter One amounted to $1,157,000.

Quarter Two (Close Date: December 31, 2020)

A total of 374 awards were distributed during Quarter Two, which ended on December 31, 2020.  The total funds disbursed directly to students during Quarter Two amounted to $373,303.

By the end of Quarter Two, all $1,530,303 in Emergency Grant aid received by WCJC pursuant to Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act had been distributed to students. This equated to a total of 1,531 grants distributed to 1,001 unique students.

Grant Calculation Determination

The emergency financial aid grant amount of $1,000 per student was determined based on several key factors. Firstly, the WCJC CARES Oversight Committee sought to identify an amount that would provide significant financial help to those students who were impacted.  Median rent in Wharton County is reported to be $564 per month, with unemployment close to 6% prior to the outbreak.  An award amount of greater than $500 was deemed necessary to provide significant help to struggling students.

In addition, the Oversight Committee referenced a 2017 special report from the Center for Community College Engagement in which it was reported that 49% of students reported that they had run out of money at least once during the previous 12 months, thereby relying on outside sources, including family, friends, loans, and charity.  Moreover, 18% of students reported that they would not be able to come up with any additional money “if an unexpected need arose within the next month” (CCCSE, 2017, p. 12).  The majority of respondents were confident that they would be able to come up with between $500 and $1000 if they had to, with fewer than 1 in 4 being able to accumulate more than $1,000.  The committee noted that these survey results were gathered during a time when the economy was strong and unemployment rates were low; financial need is likely to be significantly greater among students today.

Direction to Students

All communication for the WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid program is managed through a central email address, WCJCCares@wcjc.edu. Eligible students were notified via email regarding the availability of emergency aid grants. Email notifications to students included the following information:

---------------------------------

We know that this semester has presented you with many challenges that none of us could have foreseen. We are so proud of your perseverance as you continue toward your academic goals!

In recognition of these challenges, the United States Department of Education has provided WCJC with emergency funds to be awarded directly to students to mitigate some of the financial impacts that have resulted due to changes in campus operations over these past months. 

Based on the WCJC CARES eligibility requirements, you are eligible to apply for a $1,000 emergency relief grant. Complete your WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid Application today!

In order to be awarded grant monies, a student must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a credit program at WCJC.
  • Exhibit financial need as delineated within the WCJC CARES Emergency Relief Aid Application.
  • Be registered for a minimum of six (6) semester credit hours in Spring 2020.
  • Not have been enrolled exclusively in online courses on, or prior to, March 13, 2020.
  • Have a verified FAFSA on file with WCJC for the term in which the funds are requested.
  • Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
  • Be in good academic standing with the college or making good progress.
  • Be in good disciplinary standing with the college.

 

The application deadline to apply is [DATE]; however, priority will be given to those students who submit their application by [DATE].  Awardees will be notified beginning [DATE].

For questions, please contact the WCJC CARES Oversight Committee at WCJCCares@wcjc.edu.

Once again, we want to thank you for your perseverance during this time and, as always, thank you for choosing WCJC!

Go Pioneers!

WCJC CARES Oversight Committee

WCJCCares@wcjc.edu

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In addition, students were sent text message notifications indicating that they were eligible for an award and should check their WCJC email for additional information. Text alerts were sent to students with the following message:

WCJC Notice: The WCJC CARES Emergency Aid Application is now available for [SEMESTER YEAR]. Please check your WCJC Student Email for more information.

 

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