Austin Community College District (ACC) continues to distribute funds for students impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). In spring and summer semesters, more than 3,600 students received federal aid dollars through the ACC CARES Act Student Aid.
“Our students need support now more than ever. When we learned about the CARES Act funding we immediately began planning for a long-term solution to support students through fall 2020,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “While the college has always worked to alleviate financial burdens for students, the pandemic accelerated our efforts. We’re now doing even more, and as a result we’ve seen more students apply for financial aid. In fact, we’ve awarded financial support to every student who qualified for CARES Act funds.”
CARES STUDENT AID FUNDING
ACC CARES Act Student Aid is available for students who experienced hardships due to COVID-19 and need support with their basic needs including housing, food, child care, and healthcare. Over spring and summer semesters, the college distributed nearly $3.9 million dollars — with each award averaging $1,085 per student.
“When I got an email from the ACC president saying there is support, it made me feel safe,” says Stevani Flahaut, ACC Entrepreneurship student. “After getting approved I got a check deposited into my account in just two days. Removing that financial burden is helping me focus on my school work.”
ACC was awarded $13.9 million from the federal CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of which at least 50 percent is designated for student emergency aid. Applications for summer are now closed and will reopen August 21 to assist students enrolled in fall courses.
All students are encouraged to apply for CARES Act funding. Those who don’t meet federal requirements are connected with ACC’s other financial aid opportunities: scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, emergency funds, military exemptions, and tuition exemptions. The college distributed more than $65 million in the 2019/20 school year, up more than $1 million from the previous year. More than 12,800 students received support. On average, each student was awarded more than $5,000 to help pay for classes, books, and life expenses.
ACC processes financial aid year-round. Students are encouraged to apply now for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The fall application for the ACC CARES Act Student Aid opens August 21, the Friday before fall semester begins.
For more information about paying for college support at ACC, visit austincc.edu/financialaid.