THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which provided colleges and universities funds for student emergency grants.
The Seminary received $36,595 in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds in three distributions of which $24,397 went directly to students in the form of financial grants for expenses students incurred related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Expenses include things like technology, health care, course materials, rent, food, child care, or moving fees.
How is Western Theological Seminary allocating the CARES Act funds?
The Department of Education encouraged institutions to distribute the CARES Act funds as widely as possible while prioritizing students with the greatest need. WTS allocated $12,198 and an additional $12,199 as standard relief grants to all residential students who qualified for Federal financial aid as verified by the ISIR report which was generated by the successful completion of a FAFSA application. As residential students face the greatest disruption of their educational pursuits because of COVID, they were the only WTS students eligible for these funds.
Who is eligible for the WTS CARES Grant?
The U.S. Department of Education determined that only students who met basic federal student aid eligibility criteria could be considered for CARES Act funds. To ensure this, only students who filed a 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and maintained a half time status for the fall 2020 semester were eligible. We estimate that approximately 30 WTS students were eligible to receive CARES Act funds.
When and how will I receive the WTS CARES Grant?
If WTS had your 2020-2021 ISIR report on file and you were enrolled for 6 or more credit hours for the fall 2020 semester, you automatically received a grant in the month of December 2020 in the amount of $400 and an additional grant of $450 in February.
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