Belk Center Research Associate, Renee Barger, Authors New Report: North Carolina Community Colleges and the CARES Act Student Emergency Aid

A new report authored by Belk Center Research Associate, Renee Barger, in collaboration with EdNC, examines NC Community Colleges’ planning processes for using the CARES Act student emergency funds, describes their methods of distribution, identifies how many students were helped, and assesses what needs students still have. The report serves as a resource for colleges in determining how to use remaining CARES Act funds and understanding what additional aid is needed for students.

Recommendations based on report findings include:

  • Consider including a wide variety of departments at the college in the planning process, including departments that can assist with reaching out to students about grants, planning for additional support or resources for students, or understanding students’ instructional needs in a remote environment.
  • Identify and work with community partners that may be able to provide additional financial and/or non-financial support to students. Colleges can also refer students directly to community partners where they can receive support.
  • For colleges concerned about issuing grants as quickly as possible, distributing grants in equal amounts or using a simple formula based on credit hours would be the most efficient route. Distributing grants without requiring an application or using a short certification would ensure quick distribution as well.

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