COVID-19 Emergency Aid
Westmoreland County Community College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding(HEERF) 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. The following reports include expenditure information.
Westmoreland signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education on April 24, 2020 and Westmoreland intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The certification document outlines Recipient Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CARES Act. Westmoreland received additional COVID-19 relief funding through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. We will also continue to update and post the information here.
Below is some additional information regarding the HEERF programs.
The CARES Act provided financial assistance through institutions of higher education but required students to meet certain eligibility criteria including:
- Students must be Title IV eligible. Eligibility was determined by the student completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Students must be making satisfactory academic progress
- Students could not be enrolled in online only programs prior to March 13, 2020.
- Have incurred a COVID-19 related expense
The CRRSA Act also provides financial assistance through institutions of higher education but prioritizes students with exceptional need. The CRRSA Act allows additional students to qualify as it removes the Title IV eligibility requirement but does require students to be a US Citizen or an Eligible non-citizen. In addition, CRRSA Act funds can be awarded to students who are in online programs and can be applied directly to student accounts to cover outstanding tuition and fees with the student’s authorization.
American Rescue Plan (ARP)
Under the ARP(a)(1), as authorized under section 2003 of the ARP, Institutions must make financial aid grants to students, which can be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency cost that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health) or child care. Institutions are required to prioritize students with exceptional need and the legislation authorizes grants to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.
For Spring and Summer 2023, due to the limited amount of funding available, priority of awards will be to assist students with the most financial hardships. Students will automatically be awarded based on need, including Federal Pell Grant recipients, and/or students enrolled for summer coursework, and/or students who have a balance owed to the college.
In order for students to receive the funds, they must indicate the method in which they want to receive the funding; either as direct cash payments (to be mailed to their official address on record with the college), or to be applied to their account to reduce or eliminate any balance owed.
For any student who did not cash their refund check that was issued, the awards will be cancelled and the funds will be re-awarded to another student with need as indicated above, within the allowable timeframe of disbursing funds as dictated by the U.S. Department of Education.
Students with exceptional need will be prioritized.
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 and the Westmoreland team will do our best to connect you with resources.
Institutions participating in CARES Act funding are required to make the following information easily available via their website. The college has committed to updating the amounts given to students and the number of students served.
Amounts of Funds Disbursed
|Number of Students|
|May 15, 2020||$148,500||297|
|June 19, 2020||$257,500||365|
|July 29, 2020||$267,500||481|
|September 24, 2020||$541,500||614|
|October 14, 2020||$662,500||698|
|November 12, 2020||$711,500||732|
|January 7, 2021||$786,500||784|
|February 16, 2021||$1,099,250||864|
|March 19, 2021||$1,459,000||1,144|
|April 14, 2021||$2,061,275||1,241|
|May 15, 2021||$2,143,204||1,486|
|June 22, 2021||$2,409,824||1,556|
|August 17, 2021||$2,553,592||1,617|
|September 13, 2021||$3,297,665||1,813|
|November 4, 2021||$3,621,736||2,006|
|December 30, 2021||$4,054,700||2,199|
|February 10, 2022||$5,373,858||2,580|
|March 31, 2022||$5,785,545||2,749|
|June 22, 2022||$6,515,747||2,927|
|September 23, 2022||$6,849,564||3,035|
|December 20, 2022||$6,943,805||3,165|