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MCLA to Receive $1.9 Million in ARP Funding to Distribute to Students

NORTH ADAMS — MCLA will receive $1.9 million to distribute directly to enrolled students from Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) that are part of the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP).

One of the largest investments ever made in American higher education, ARP allocates $40 billion to colleges in order to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A third round of pandemic relief for higher-education institutions, the ARP funds are more than double the first two COVID recovery packages combined. HEERF funding, which exists under the umbrella of ARP, is meant specifically for students.

MCLA students with the highest need, demonstrated via FAFSA information, will receive the majority of this funding, but all enrolled students will receive a check or the option to use the funds to pay off student debt or pay for future semesters of college.

The first disbursement of funds will be to MCLA undergraduates and graduate students who are enrolled for summer classes as well as for the fall 2021 semester. The next disbursement will be to students enrolled for fall 2021. The remainder of this funding will be disbursed to enrolled students in spring 2022.

Bonnie Howland, MCLA’s director of Student Financial Services, said she has heard from many MCLA students who are helping support their families, have lost jobs, or lack internet access at home. This funding can help pay for expenses so that students can stay enrolled in college while they deal with other emergencies brought on by COVID.

“It’s designed to help students stay in school throughout the pandemic,” Howland said. “I think we’re going to feel the effects of the pandemic for at least the next couple of years.”

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