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Highland helps students through CARES Act during COVID-19 pandemic

Clarence Mitchell Library

Highland Community College received $455,905 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Qualified spring 2020 semester students are grant eligible for financial assistance through the CARES Act

“Highland made an initial disbursement of federal funds to over 725 eligible, FAFSA completed, students for additional costs due to the coronavirus such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and/or child care,” said Jill Janssen, vice president of Administrative Services. “Future disbursements of federal funds will be made to students who meet eligibility requirements and complete a 1920 FAFSA by June 30.”

She adds, “In addition, an application process is in place for remaining federal funds and for other local grants, which have varying eligibility requirements.”

The purpose of this Act is to provide economic relief to millions of Americans through direct assistance to individuals, families, and businesses. It was passed by Congress on March 27.

Part of the CARES Act includes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet. HCC has been awarded $455,905 to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

Students do not need to apply for these funds, however, students will need to have completed the FAFSA to determine eligibility. To be eligible for these funds a student must:  

  • Be a degree or certificate seeking student enrolled in the spring 2020 semester.
  • Meet Title IV eligibility requirements such as being a US Citizen, having registered for selective service if a male, and not being in default on a student loan.
  • Have a complete 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with HCC.
  • Be in good standing academically. 

By the end of May eligible students began receiving checks in the amount of $600 for full-time status. Part-time students -received $300. Students have until June 30, 2020 to either return the check to Highland or cash it.

Emergency funds through Highland’s HOPE program are also available through an application process. The application is at

Students who have any questions about funds available through the CARES Act can call Ashley Wolber at 815-599-3519 or email Financial Aid at