BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Funds are being distributed to colleges and institutions all over the nation after they have received federal funding as part of the CARES Act.
And now, schools here in our own backyard including Lyon College, are working to get that money to students.
“Whatever we get, 50 percent of that, we are obligated to give it back directly to the students," Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Patrick Mulick said.
Emails were sent to around 650 students about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and under the CARES Act, this money is specifically for enrolled students in need as a result of COVID-19.
Under the act, institutions have the responsibility of determining how grants will be distributed to students and how much they will receive.
Lyon College created a form and a committee to help disperse the funds and they are asking students to request an amount through the form that they believe they need.
There’s no maximum limit they can ask for and the college only asked a few questions regarding COVID-19′s impact on the student, what the funds will be used for and has the student sought out any other form of help.
The request form was sent to Seniors first, with the intention of them receiving the funds before commencement on May 16. According to Mulick, Senior checks will be in the mail by May 15.
Of the 100 Seniors, 25 responded. The average amount requested was between $500 to $1,000 and had a range of $300 to $2,500.
“Students have been very reasonable in their request," Mulick said.
There’s also not a deadline for the requests as of now. Mulick says even if students weren’t impacted in March or April, that could change in June and July.
For that reason, they can request even in the coming months.
He says they are a community and they are going to come together during times of crisis.
“Our focus really has been how have our students been impacted by COVID-19. They may not be on our campus, but they are still part of our community and they are still our students. It’s a place where we know their names, we know their family situations and we know what’s going on a day-to-day basis. Quite honestly, we miss them," Mulick said.
There are some guidelines. Only students who are eligible for Title IV funds or federal student financial aid can receive this money.
Meaning 50 international, exchange and DACA students for the college can not benefit from this fund.
However, Mulick says right when COVID-19 impacts started, an advancement team worked with the community, alumni and the student government to develop an emergency fund; successfully raising $13,000.
So for those students that aren’t eligible for the federal funding, the emergency fund will be able to support them if needed.
All of this, including the federal money is free with no strings attached.
If you recall, under that CARES Act, students and adults that are claimed by their parents could not receive a stimulus check and Dean Mulick agreed this will definitely come in handy for a lot of students and families.