FSCJ, Edward Waters College Students To Benefit From CARES Act Aid

May 14, 2020

Florida State College at Jacksonville and Edward Waters College are both expecting to receive more federal CARES Act funding, on top of the millions of dollars they’ve already been given in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds are part of a $1.4 billion set aside to help historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs) as well as institutions that serve low-income students.

“Colleges have been hit hard by this pandemic and have had to make changes to the way they deliver education,” U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) told WJCT News in an email. “Congress has taken swift action to support the students and institutions to ensure they emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”  

FSCJ, which transitioned to online classes in March before students returned from an extended spring break, is expected to get $711,841, on top of the $14.5 million it’s already received.

At least half of that money has to go directly to students, and the rest can be used to help the college deal with the unexpected costs incurred during the pandemic. 

So far FSCJ has distributed more than $2.1 million to its students.

“We have an estimated almost 9,000 students that we think are eligible to receive CARES Act funding,” said Linda Herlocker, vice president of student services at FSCJ.

So far, more than 7,000 students were each given $300 for having been enrolled in at least one spring semester class that changed “modality” — meaning a class that originally included face-to-face meetings that transitioned to online learning. 

Even students with pre-existing debt to the college still got the $300, Herlocker said. 

Students taking online classes that are normally face to face in the summer A or B sessions will get at least $180.

Next, the school will be giving out need-based financial aid to students affected by coronavirus. An online application should be ready by mid-July. Eligibility requirements are here.

And Edward Waters College, the HCBU near Downtown Jacksonville, will be getting an additional $2,348,835 in CARES Act funding. An EWC spokeswoman said details of the college’s plan for the aid would be forthcoming. This story will be updated when WJCT News receives them.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.