Federal CARES Act funds will soon be available to Mississippi College students needing emergency assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic to pay university costs.
MC leaders announced details this week. Money can be used as emergency grants by students to cover costs for campus food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.
The grants come from the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.
The CARES Act established a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to support colleges and universities nationwide.
Mississippi College leaders will distribute the emergency aid to more than 1,200 eligible students. Starting this week, MC officials will apply the emergency aid funds to student accounts.
Laura Jackson, the university’s chief financial officer, says funds will be given to students through BankMobile. It will use the refund preference students show on their accounts.
Students who haven’t selected a preferred method should visit the university’s website link at mc.edu/aidrefunds for more information.
These funds are considered grants, not loans. There is no requirement to repay the funds, officials say. At this time, it is unclear if the funds going to students will be taxable. “We are awaiting further guidance from the federal government and will provide that information when it is available,” Jackson said.
The announcement of emergency funds for students happens as Mississippi College wraps up the Spring 2020 semester. MC’s nearly 5,000 students swiftly transitioned to online classes over the past seven weeks.
COVID-19 cases continue to grow dramatically in the USA. There are more than 4.1 million coronavirus cases nationwide as of May 11. In recent weeks, more than 30 million Americans suddenly lost their jobs due to the worldwide health crisis.
“We pray that these funds are a blessing to you and your family,” Jackson told Mississippi College students in an email. “Until we see you again, please know that we hold you tightly in our thoughts and prayers.”
For many families, Jackson noted, the health crisis has been especially difficult because of layoffs and lost income. “Students and their families have incurred unexpected expenses because of the disruptions we have endured this semester.”
MC students asking how federal funds can be used or present questions about their eligibility for the grants can email university officials. They can be reached at email@example.com or by phoning the business office at 601-925-3307.