The Coronavirus CARES Act provides several different methods for distributing roughly $14 billion in funds to institutions of higher education. The most significant portion of that funding allocation provides that $12.56 billion will be distributed to institutions using a formula based on student enrollment. Of the amount allocated to each institution under this formula, at least 50 percent must be reserved to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
Watkins College of Art applied, signed, and returned the Funding Certification and Agreement on April 14, 2020 and was approved as a recipient of these funds. The College has been allocated $56,062.00 and has agreed to promptly make these emergency financial aid grants funds directly to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 as of March 13, 2020. This portion represents the required amount (50 percent) under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act.
Watkins has committed to assist as many students possible by automatically awarding eligible students based on the following criteria:
- Valid 2019-20 FAFSA on file for students eligible to participate in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA)
- Valid Social Security Number (SSN)
- Currently enrolled spring semester as a degree-seeking student on a continuous basis and had educational plans disrupted by COVID-19 effective March 13, 2020 and thereafter.
- High School diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool program
- Must be a U.S. or eligible non-citizen
- Registered with Selective Service (males only)
- Must demonstrate an exceptional need
- Must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) within the range of $0 – 10,000
Students who meet the criteria above and have the greatest need will be automatically considered for the Emergency Financial Aid Grant in amounts ranging from $400 to $800.
Emergency Relief Grant FAQs
Are there students that won’t qualify for these funds?
Yes. Students enrolled in courses that were solely remote/online, students who fail to meet the standard criteria listed above, and students who have withdrawn from the college prior to or during COVID-19 will not qualify for these funds.
What circumstances are considered for awarding the Emergency Relief Grant?
The Secretary of Education has provided these funds “for the sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health-care, and child-care expenses.”
What if my EFC is outside of the range for automatic consideration of these funds, can I apply to be considered?
Yes, you may submit a written appeal for review. Click here to access the appeals form.
How do I submit my appeals?
You must use your Watkins student email and send it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by May 20, 2020.
Will I receive funding based on my appeals?
All appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. However, funding availability is limited and may not be available to assist every student who submits an appeal.
How will I receive the funds?
Students who are currently enrolled in direct deposit to receive student overages will receive CARES Act funding in the same manner. There is no need to fill out a new “Direct Deposit Form” if you currently have one on file and if your bank information has not changed.
If I’m not enrolled in Direct Deposit, how will I receive my funds?
Any student not enrolled in Direct Deposit will receive a paper check; it will be mailed to the official address on file.