News Release - For Immediate Release
BREMERTON - Olympic College is disbursing nearly $1.6 million directly to students whose education is impacted by COVID-19. The college will receive an additional $1.6 million which can be used to offset expenses and lost revenue resulting from the pandemic.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, provides $14 billion in federal funds to support colleges, universities and the students they serve during the pandemic outbreak.
“These funds could not come at a better time for our students,” says Olympic College President Marty Cavalluzzi. “We know that many community college students, like those who attend Olympic College, often times struggle to meet basic needs like food and housing, and these funds will go a long way to ensuring they stay on track in their programs of study.”
A 2019 scientific survey – conducted by the Temple University Hope Center – of 13,550 students from 28 community and technical colleges in Washington state, indicates that 41 percent of respondents experienced food insecurity; 51 percent experienced housing insecurity; and 19 percent reported being homeless in the previous year.
In 2016, Olympic College surveyed more than 3,000 students. The results revealed that one-third of all respondents reported experiencing food insecurity, and 23 percent experienced situational distress relating to housing.
The CARES Act specifies that funds can be disbursed as grants to students for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and other expenses.
The college established criteria that will allow it to disburse funds to students who are currently enrolled for Spring Quarter. A survey was sent to each student to assess current needs.
The CARES Act gives colleges broad discretion in how they use the remaining $1.6 million. The legislation states that funds can be used to “defray expenses for institutions of higher education,” which can include supplementing lost revenue and technology costs associated with a transition to distance education.
Olympic College’s overall award of $3.19 was calculated based on a formula in the CARES act that weighs factors in the number of students eligible for federal Pell Grants, and income level. The 34 community and technical colleges in Washington state received a combined total of $90.72 million via the Cares Act.
For more information, visit the Olympic College CARES Act webpage: https://olympiccollege.link/caresact
100% of the cost of these grants are funded by the US Department of Education CARES Act. Olympic College received $1,564,000 from the DOE CARES Act Grant.