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Valley College students can receive $1000 award if eligible for financial aid

Students enrolled in fall semester can apply for $1000 through FAFSA, California College Promise grant, Dream Act grant or through showing economic hardship.

By Benjamin Royer, Valley Life Editor

Students eligible for financial aid programs can fill out waivers to receive a $1000 federal stimulus award.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California College Promise Grant which waives the college’s enrollment fee are two ways to become eligible. Another option is to show eligibility through the Dream Act Grant that allows students who apply for institutional and state grants to receive aid based on income guidelines. Another choice is being able to show economic hardship that was caused by COVID-19.

The $1000 award comes from a sum collected from Valley College created by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), a government fund dedicated to help relieve students attempting to achieve higher education. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which passed HEERF, provided $81.88 billion in support for education.

Students do not have to be eligible for all four options provided, though they must act fast in order to receive the money in the first round of disbursements..

“It usually takes a week or two to process the thousands of the disbursements, so if students want to take advantage of the $1000 disbursement, that will happen the third week, they really need to get their application in now,” said Valley president Barry Gribbons. “It is not a separate application, they just need to make sure they have their FAFSA or CA Promise fee waiver as soon as possible.”

To receive money from the award by the third week, students must fill out a FAFSA application listing Valley as their home school, or complete one of the other options by this week.

Applicants who qualify after this week will have their money sent to them in future weeks, instead of the assurance of week three given to students who apply quickly.

The HEERF funds Valley receives will go towards financial awards as well as other needs the college has.

“The latest round of HEERF funds, half of the money was earmarked by the federal government to be direct aid to students, and the other half was earmarked for institutional support,” Gribbons said. “We also intend on providing additional technology awards that we will use the institutional aid for. We will also use the institutional aid for funding to reduce class size, additional sanitization on campus, hand sanitizers throughout buildings and other expenses related to COVID.”

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