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Elms College Distributes CARES Act Funds to 425 Students

CHICOPEE — Elms College distributed funds to 425 students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act, the college announced.

“We are pleased that we could ease the financial burden put on many of our students as they adapted to learning remotely during the pandemic,” said Financial Aid Director Richard O’Connor, adding that qualifying expenses included moving off campus and investing in technology to do classwork from home. “These funds have also helped offset childcare costs and preventive measures in addition to the treatment of COVID-19.”

Expenses such as food, housing, course materials, healthcare, childcare, technology, and transportation were considered as well. Overall, the college received 496 applications from students for emergency funding. The average amount awarded to the 425 students was $1,478.

Money spent on trips that the college had to cancel were also included in the funding requests that were granted. “We had several students who were affected by canceled mission trips, and I am grateful that these students were able to get reimbursed,” O’Connor said.

On March 27, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included specific guidelines for colleges and universities to distribute the funding. For example, half of each institution’s total grant allotment was earmarked for students in need of emergency aid, with the other half going to the institution to defray costs and expenses resulting from COVID-19.

Following passage of the CARES Act, Elms College received nearly $1.3 million. Half of the college’s allotment, just over $649,000, was reserved for eligible students in need of emergency aid, and the other half was issued to the college to defray costs and expenses as a result of COVID-19.

To date, the college has awarded more than $628,000 to students. The remainder of the allotment to students, approximately $21,000, will fund students’ future emergency needs.

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