The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a package of over $2 trillion intended to provide relief from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The act contained provisions specifically intended to provide relief for higher education institutions and their students.
The Act allocated $93.361 million for the colleges and universities of Minnesota State:
Half ($46.7 million) is allocated to emergency financial aid directly to students. These funds will be distributed as soon as possible using existing financial aid mechanisms. The grants are intended to help students cover costs they have experienced as a result of the pandemic. Over 75% of Minnesota State students will receive some level of funding in the form of a direct cash grant.
Half was allocated to institutions to help address the significant financial losses colleges and universities are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Although this funding will help the colleges and universities bear the substantial costs they have incurred as a result of the crisis, it will not cover all of them.
Eligible DCTC students will receive $150 grants, excluding PSEO and concurrent enrollment students, MN Residents age 62 and older, noncredit students, and students whose full tuition was paid for by a private employer.
Students who are Pell eligible receive an additional amount equal to between 40% and 50% of the total allotment at DCTC. Pell-eligible students at DCTC would receive $500.
The CARES Act provides institutions with significant discretion on how to award this emergency assistance to students. Each institution may develop its own system and process for determining how to allocate these funds while recognizing Minnesota State guidance below and the only statutory requirement, which is that the emergency student grants be used to cover student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
The only statutory requirement is that the emergency student grants be used to cover student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses include a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
Minnesota State guidance regarding student distribution to its colleges and universities. Components of distribution plans should include:
an across-the-board component for all students enrolled as of the Friday prior to the institution's spring break.
Need-based grants awarded according to institution-specific criteria that include Pell-eligibility and other factors as outlined by the Department of Education.
Students at risk of being unable to continue their education due to coronavirus-related disruptions.
Students not eligible include those enrolled fully online before the stay-at-home order, those who dropped classes after March 12, concurrent high school students, postsecondary enrollment option students (PSEO), or those being assessed senior citizen tuition rates or those enrolled in non-credit or those incarcerated or those whose full tuition is covered by an employer.
The remaining CARES Act amounts for DCTC will be disbursed as emergency grants through the existing emergency application process. Students can contact their designated Academic Advisor or the general Academic Advising office at firstname.lastname@example.org for emergency grant application information.
Pay it Forward-Students Helping Students - Some students have indicated a desire to "pay it forward" and donate their CARES funds to other students who may be in greater financial need. If this is of interest, students can donate to the DCTC Foundation at DCTC Foundation Online Giving and select the "Acts of Kindness" dropdown.