Thomas Nelson Community College disbursed emergency aid to 1,778 students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to federal funding by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The College received $1,924,821 in CARES Act funding. Given the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal act designates funds to cover expenses associated with college attendance, such as course materials, food, housing and other costs.
Thomas Nelson began distributing CARES Act aid to eligible students May 15, according to Paula Maquire-Tremo of the College’s Finance and Administration division.
Students received one-time emergency grants either by direct deposit or by mail. She said eligibility was based on criteria specified by the U.S. Department of Education.
“At this time, all funds intended for students have been disbursed,” said Maquire-Tremo, noting there will be an announcement if additional funding becomes available.
Interim President Greg DeCinque is heartened by the swift action to meet students’ needs as they work to improve their lives through higher education. The emergency aid is particularly vital amid circumstances the pandemic created.
“We were very pleased to recently distribute almost $2 million to over 1,700 Thomas Nelson students as a result of the CARES Act dollars we received from the federal government,” said DeCinque. “These students all experienced financial distress as a result of the College moving to a totally online delivery of courses due to COVID- 19. Students can use these funds to pay for expenses incurred in having to provide day care, purchase technology required or other general expenses.
“It is our hope that these stopgap funds will facilitate our students being able to continue their Thomas Nelson program without interruption,” added DeCinque.
Officials emphasize Thomas Nelson took great care to support as many students as possible while attending to those with the greatest identifiable financial need. In addition to the basic eligibility requirements, the process for determining which students received CARES Act aid and the amount of each grant award took into consideration: demonstrated financial need; students’ independent or dependent status; and the U.S. Department of Education formula for allocation, in that a larger percentage of each college’s allocation was based on Pell-recipient enrollment.
In-depth details about the College’s CARES Act processes are available by CLICKING HERE.
Through its Educational Foundation, Thomas Nelson offers other financial support to students such as grants, scholarships, and the Student Emergency Fund. Learn more about these funding opportunities at tncc.edu/foundation.