WEST WINDSOR – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is ready to begin the process of distributing more than $1.9 million in direct aid to students, made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“We have been anxiously awaiting the funds from the CARES Act,” said MCCC President Dr. Jianping Wang. “Our students are hurting, and many of them will not be able to complete the current semester without help.”
Last week, the federal government announced final approval of the $2 trillion CARES Act package, with $14 billion earmarked to help colleges, their students, and their families mitigate financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New Jersey’s share is $323 million, with $3.85 million going to MCCC. Of that amount half – or just over $1.9 million – is slated for direct aid to students.
“MCCC intends to distribute funds to students expeditiously who are in need of help with tuition and fees, textbooks, technology, food, and other eligible ways in order for them to stay enrolled and keep on learning,” Wang said.
In addition to tuition and fees, eligible expenses include any financial obligation that could prevent a student from completing his or her education, including housing, child care, transportation, or access to technology. Both currently enrolled students and those enrolled for summer and fall semesters are eligible, Wang said.
To expedite the distribution process, MCCC has created a simple online education for students, which is available at www.mccc.edu/CARES. Wang emphasized the importance of students staying in school, not only for their own future, but the future of the state and community once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
“Community college students largely stay local, and are the main workforce for New Jersey,” Wang said. “When we reopen, we will need the participation of these students in the workforce to assure a speedy economic recovery.”
Registration for summer and fall 2020 terms is now open at Mercer County Community College, with registration, counseling, and advising all available either online or via remote platforms. More information is available at www.mccc.edu/enroll.