April 28, 2020
CARES Act Grant Opportunities for Students
Emergency assistance funding is available to Columbia College Chicago students as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March. Under the CARES Act, the college has received $3.17 million “to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”
In recognition of the fact that everyone has experienced some degree of disruption, and in further recognition that some members of the Columbia community have been more severely affected by the economic downturn or illness, the college has decided to allocate this funding to eligible students in two ways.
Per federal guidance, to be eligible for either of these funding opportunities a student must demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria for Federal Student Aid. If you have not submitted a 2019/20 or 2020/21 FASFA and believe that you may meet the eligibility criteria for Federal Student Aid, please submit your FAFSA today with the Columbia College Chicago school code (001665). Please submit your FAFSA for either academic year no later than May 8, 2020 to potentially qualify for these funding opportunities. Also, please be aware that your Social Security Number must be present on your student record for Columbia to receive and process your FAFSA. If you need assistance in updating the Social Security Number on your student record, please reach out to Columbia Central for assistance.
International students, undocumented students, and DACA students do not qualify for these funding opportunities due to federal eligibility criteria.
Additionally, to qualify a student must have been enrolled in at least one traditional (in-person or hybrid) course for the Spring 2020 semester on March 13, 2020 and remain enrolled in at least 1 credit hour for the Spring 2020 semester at the time of awarding. Per federal guidance, students who were enrolled in all online courses on March 13, 2020 do not qualify.
One-Time $250 Grant
Because all students have likely experienced some expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions, Columbia will be providing a one-time $250 grant to all eligible students who are currently enrolled in at least 1 credit hour for the Spring 2020 term.
Please note, to receive this grant you must provide the college with either a bank account for direct deposit or a U.S. mailing address. You can verify and/or update your direct deposit information and your mailing address in your MyColumbia portal. If we have direct deposit information on file for you, this is the method we will use. Otherwise, we will mail a check to the mailing address on file. We ask that you verify/update your information by April 30, 2020.
Please allow a minimum of three weeks to receive your $250 grant.
Emergency Grant Application
Some students have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in ways that have drastically changed their financial circumstances. For example, some students have suffered a job loss while incurring COVID-19 related expenses such as unexpected medical bills, child care bills or housing-related expenses.
To provide additional assistance to those eligible members of our community, Columbia is launching an Emergency Grant Application.
To apply for an Emergency Grant, you must complete this form. Once the form is completed, you will be emailed a link to the online application. The application, which fully explains the terms of the award, will require you to briefly explain the specific expenses you have incurred related to COVID-19. Although optional, it is recommended that you attach documentation to the online application to demonstrate the expenses you have incurred as this will be helpful to the committee’s decision. The application deadline is May 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
Some examples of eligible expenses include:
- Relocation expenses related to COVID-19
- Current lack of housing related to COVID-19
- Healthcare expenses related to COVID-19
- Unpaid bills for rent and utilities due to COVID-19 related job loss
- Purchase of technology used to complete remote coursework
All applications will be reviewed by a scholarship committee who will make the final decision regarding award amounts. The maximum award amount for an individual student will be $2,000. However, the scholarship committee may, on an exceptional basis, consider larger awards for students with the most severe financial circumstances. Due to limited funds and variations in students’ circumstances, not every application may be approved.
Students who complete the Emergency Grant Application can expect to be notified of the committee’s decision via their Office 365 email account no later than May 22, 2020.
If you have questions regarding either of these funding opportunities or need assistance in financial planning for your educational costs, Columbia Central counselors are available to assist you.