What is the CARES Act?

In March 2020 the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Provisions of the CARES Act grant allocated funds to colleges and universities to help students as they transitioned from in-person learning to online learning and for helping institutions cover some of the expenses incurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Education has provided information and guidelines on how those funds are to be used and distributed by colleges and universities, including explanations on student eligibility for these funds. Some of those guidelines are:

  • Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in federal financial aid (has completed or is eligible to complete a FAFSA)
  • The criteria to participate include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting

How is Waubonsee Distributing CARES Act Funds?

Waubonsee has been given $3.2 million in CARES Act funds from the federal government to help students as they transitioned from in-person learning to online learning and for helping institutions cover some of the expenses incurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As student success is our top priority, Waubonsee is committing at least $1.6 million to emergency grants for students. More specifically, we are using a portion of these funds to help support the technology needs that came up as a result of this unexpected transition to online learning.

Waubonsee has developed a process for getting these funds to eligible students in a timely manner. Eligible students will be contacted directly by the college’s financial aid office via email to make them aware of the fund and their eligibility. Because this message is being sent to students who are eligible for these funds based on Department of Education guidance, those students are directed to a short form that requests basic information.

At Waubonsee, there are approximately 2,100 students eligible to receive these funds based on the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. Eligible students will be sent an application.  If you were not contacted and think you are eligible, complete this form so you can be contacted:

COVID-19 Relief Grant

(student login required)

For students who do not meet the eligibility guidelines for CARES Act, the college has established an Emergency Needs Fund (student login required). For questions, contact emergencyneeds@waubonsee.edu.

The Emergency Needs Fund is separate from the CARES Act fund and all enrolled students are eligible to apply. Students can view the criteria for this fund and apply using this form:

Emergency Needs Fund

(student login required)

Important CARES Act Information

# of students eligible: 2,247
# of students who have received an emergency grant under CARES Act: 685
Total amount distributed: $640,350