On April 14, 2020 Richland Community College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Richland Community College has received $682,755 in CARES Act funds to disburse to students and $682,755 in institutional funds from the Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Students that received Title IV aid in the Spring 2020 semester were determined to be eligible for CARES Act funds. As of May 14, 2020, 818 students were determine to be eligible and $516,999 were disbursed on May 1, 2020. On May 21, 2020, $44,386 was disbursed to 239 additional students. Additional processes were used to determine which  other students who completed the 2019-2020 FAFSA and did not receive Title IV funds were eligible for CARES Act funds. The process identified 728 who received $105,970 in CARE Act funds.

Funds were awarded based on the student EFC from the 2019-2020 FAFSA and credit hours enrolled at the time of disbursement.

Finally, an application for additional CARES Act funds was opened up to all students who were enrolled in Spring 2020 and who met the eligibility requirements for the CARES Act funds which were updated by the Department of Education. One hundred fourteen applications were approved and $121,432 was disbursed to students in July, 2020. Of that amount, $15,400 came from the portion of the CARES Act funds that was designated to disburse to students and $106,032 came from the institutional funds portion.

All CARES Act funds designated to disburse to students have been expended as of July 15, 2020.

The following information was provided to eligible students through Richland email.

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected hardship and uncertainty. We truly appreciate, value, and respect our students continued commitment to fulfill their educational goals during these trying times. With the support of the federal CARES Act, the Richland Community College Foundation, and Richland Community College; we established a Student Emergency CARES Fund to help students remain a part of the Richland family and finish the semester successfully.

The federal CARES Act funds are intended to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of educational pursuits as the result of COVID-19. All eligible students automatically received assistance from this fund. Funds were disbursed starting 5/4/2020 to their selected refund preference with Bank Mobile. For students that had not selected a refund option, a paper check was mailed to the address currently on file with Richland Community College. Students with questions about the refund option selected, can contact the Business Office at businessoffice@richland.edu for assistance.

We realize that some students have economic need beyond the automatic grant; therefore, students may apply for additional funding if the move to online classes and disruption in campus operations have caused them to have additional expenses. An application for the additional funds is being developed and an email with more information about the application will be sent in the coming days.

Our priority is your safety and well-being. It is our hope that the establishment of this Fund can help you maintain the momentum needed to achieve your educational goals. If you have any questions, please email emergencyfund@richland.edu.