Pomona Responds to Questions about Federal CARES Aid

Pomona College recently released answers to frequently asked questions about its intentions for the nearly the $1.3 million in relief funds it has been allocated by the federal government. After many institutions of higher education sent students home to continue classes remotely, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included “funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted.”

At least half of this federal aid is required to go directly to students. While some funding is designated for institutional costs, a significant portion may be spent at the College’s discretion.

Students that have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are eligible for Pomona College’s CARES aid. In line with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ comments, Pomona writes that “The CARES Act excludes undocumented, DACA, and international students from receiving these emergency funds. However, the College will provide emergency funds from its own resources to those undocumented, DACA, and international students who receive financial aid.”

Facing the adverse effects of COVID-19, at-risk Pomona students wonder when they will receive aid. “Pomona College is still in the process of finalizing the documents to receive the CARES funds from the federal government and clarifying criteria for dispersal. [The College] expect[s] to complete this process in the next few weeks,” according to the FAQs.

While graduating later this week, Pomona College seniors are also eligible for funding.

The College’s statement comes as student organizers, such as FLI Scholars, raise tens of thousands of dollars in summer relief funding. Other members of the Claremont Consortium, including Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, and Scripps College, have also received CARES funding, ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000.

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