COVID-19 Emergency Aid

COVID-19 Emergency Aid

Westmoreland County Community College has received its first installment of CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds provide direct emergency assistance for Westmoreland students. Our goal is to assist students in accordance with federal guidelines.

Below are several questions that students have been asking about the emergency aid. Please review. If you feel that you should apply, complete this form. If you still have questions, please reach out to your advisor for assistance. 

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability act and provides financial assistance to students through higher education institutions.

Can I receive CARES act funds if I am currently Unsatisfactory for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

No.  Students must be eligible for federal financial aid in order to receive CARES act funds.

Is this grant includible in my gross income if I am a student who received an emergency financial aid grant under section 3504, 18004, or 18008 of the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic?

No.  Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.  This grant is not includible in your gross income.

When will I receive my funds?

We will verify eligibility and disburse funds to students in accordance with federal guidelines.  If you have applied for CARES Act funds for the Spring 2020 term, funds will be disbursed as soon as possible.  Due to the high volume of requests, we cannot predict a timeframe. For summer 2020, students will receive funds after the first few weeks of the summer semester as we have to verify enrollment and attendance.

Are students enrolled in online only programs, prior to March 13, 2020, eligible for CARES act funding?

No.  Students are not eligible for CARES act funds if they were enrolled exclusively in online courses on March 13, 2020.

Can Westmoreland use funds provided to a student through the CARES act to pay outstanding or overdue tuition bills?

No. The CARES Act requires institutions to provide the emergency financial aid grants to students even if they owe the college monies. Students can make the choice to pay their overdue tuition; however, they would need to receive the CARES act funds, then pay their outstanding bill.

What do I do if I am not eligible for federal financial aid, but have significant needs?

Please reach out to your advisor or counselor or submit this form, and the Westmoreland team will do our best to connect you with resources.

Reporting Update:

Institutions participating in CARES Act funding are required to make the following information easily available via their website. Since Westmoreland County Community College was granted S1,188,000 in CARES Act funding to distribute to students within one year of accepting the funds, the College commits to updating the amounts given to students and the number of students served regularly.

Reporting Data

Amount of Funds Disbursed

Number of Students Served
May 15, 2020 $148,500 297
June 19, 2020 TBA TBA

In the Spring semester 2020, approximately 49.5% of the students enrolled in credit hours at Westmoreland County  Community College were eligible for Title IV funds. Students were encouraged to complete an application for CARES  Act funding that directed them to indicate how they were impacted by COVID-19, an indication of need, and a certification that the CARES Act funds received would be used for the reasons indicated.  In order to receive CARE Act funds, students must submit the form properly and be eligible for Title IV funds within the term they were requested.