WHARTON, TEXAS – Wharton County Junior College students financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for assistance thanks to a federal program.
Through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA), $1.5 million in funds was awarded to WCJC for emergency student aid. CRRSAA is a follow-up to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed last spring in response to the pandemic.
Students may apply for funding by accessing the CRRSAA Grant Application.
Since WCJC obtained CARES funding, the college automatically received the CRRSAA funds as well, said WCJC’s Vice President of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Amanda Allen. Like with CARES, the purpose of the CRRSAA is to help students who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“The intent of this emergency aid is to provide our students with financial relief, thereby allowing them to attend to their needs, be that in their educational or personal lives,” Allen explained. “Our hope is that, by ensuring that we disburse these monies to our students quickly and efficiently, they will be better able and equipped to continue on their educational journey toward their goals, whether that be to graduate, transfer or both.”
All currently enrolled WCJC students can apply for the funds, but must confirm that they have “exceptional need” incurred as a result of the pandemic. During Summer 2021, students attending at least three credit hours will receive an $800 award.
The aid can be used for tuition, food, housing, health care or child care.
Students may apply only once per semester, but can reapply in future terms provided that they meet the criteria and that funding is still available. Aid will continue to be awarded until funds are depleted. WCJC’s Office of Financial Aid reviews and approves all applications.
Applications can be found on the college website by accessing the Coronavirus Update page as found under the Updates section located on the homepage. Access the CRRSAA Emergency Aid link to learn about student eligibility and to complete the online application.
“We know that, even in the best of times, our students report that the primary reason they would have to leave school is due to their financial situation,” Allen said. “As we all continue to work through the many ramifications of the pandemic, it is crucial that we find any way we can to best support our students to ensure they are successful in their educational endeavors. These emergency funds are a key component of that support and we are doing our utmost to steward these monies in a way that will have the most significant impact on student persistence and success.”