Cal Poly received $14 million from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The university will allocate at least $7 million directly to students through emergency grants.
The CARES Act is a bipartisan stimulus bill that was passed by Congress in March. About $12.5 billion is being awarded in total to over 5,000 colleges and universities.
All enrolled students, including international and undocumented students, can apply to receive grants from the CARES Act or other emergency funds through the Cal Poly CARES Program, Vice President for Student affairs Keith Humphrey wrote in an email.
Cal Poly will give $2.7 million of CARES Act funds and $700,000 of other funds to students who apply through the Cal Poly CARES Program.
These grants cover expenses caused by COVID-19’s disruption of campus operations, such as:
- Job loss
- Paying rent while unemployed
- Purchasing technology to take online classes
- Paying for travel to move back to a permanent residence
- COVID-19 related medical expenses
Since there is a limited amount of money available, Cal Poly may not be able to give a grant to all students who apply, according to the Cal Poly CARES Progam website.
Cal Poly will also give $4.3 million of the CARES Act to students who indicated that their families are low income on their FAFSA application, according to the website.
Based on the student’s Expected Family Contribution and enrollment status, between $200 and $1,250 will be deposited directly into their bank account or sent as a check to the mailing address listed in their Cal Poly Portal, an email from the Cal Poly Financial Aid and Scholarship Office read.
Students who do not have a bank account can cash the check for free at any Wells Fargo Bank, the email read.
Students who receive these CARES Act grants from financial aid are welcome to apply for more money through the Cal Poly CARES Program, according to the website.
Out of the $14 million Cal Poly recieved, $7 million is required to be given directly to students. The other $7 million can be used for institutional costs, such as training faculty and staff.
“While I know you face many challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage you to use the portion of your award for Recipient’s Institutional Costs to expand your remote learning programs, build your IT capacity to support such programs, and train faculty and staff to operate effectively in a remote learning environment,” Secretary of Education Betsy Devos said in a letter to college and university presidents.
The university is still deciding where to allocate the money and will announce their decision in the coming weeks, according to University Spokesperson Matt Lazier.