Fresno City College Received $1.8 million from California’s Immediate Action Budget Package

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Fresno City College received approximately $1.8 million through the passage of California’s Immediate Action Budget Package.

Story By: Krystle Nozartash, Reporter

Fresno City College received approximately $1.8 million through the passage of California’s Immediate Action Budget Package (Senate Bill 85) to provide emergency financial assistance to students that meet the eligibility requirements.

The 2021 Immediate Action Budget package is funding that has been allocated to California community colleges to support students who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Lataria Hall, vice president of student services at FCC, said an email was sent to over 8,000 students on April 23, 2021 inviting them to apply for the emergency funds by the April 29 deadline.

The expected award amounts will be between $250 – $750

Just over 3000 students applied and those applicants were awarded based on the criteria, according to Hall.

To be eligible for consideration students must:

  • Meet requirements to receive the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) for 2020-21 or 2021-22.
  • Demonstrate an emergency financial need.
  • Have earned a 2.0 GPA at State Center Community College District or at a prior institution in one of the previous three terms attended, or be receiving additional support services through our Disabled Student Programs and Services.
  • Be currently enrolled in at least 6 units for Spring 2021.

Joe Garcia, a student majoring in computer programming, said he applied after seeing a reminder email with an invite link and qualifying for funds.

The grant is based on the financial eligibility information so the students who did not meet income eligibility did not qualify, according to Hall.  

With many struggling from jobs and home losses, Garcia feels the money came at a good time.

By April 30, he received an email saying he will be awarded $250.

“It’s helpful you know, especially right now. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for my summer semester math book,” Garcia said.

Due to limited funding, individual award amounts will depend on the number of requests received and will vary based on units enrolled for Spring 2021.

Students will receive a notification from the financial aid office if selected and can also find it in their financial aid portal on WebAdvisor.

The funds began to be disbursed on May 13, 2021 as direct deposit if set up or checks will be mailed otherwise.

Students should allow 4-5 mailing days from May 13 for their disbursement to arrive, according to Hall.

“We understand that students are impacted and have a need. So, we try to get these funds into the hands of students as quickly as possible so they can buy groceries or if they have those unexpected car repairs or rent or other unplanned emergencies,” she said. 

The funds are distributed by units. 

Students taking 6-8.5 units receive $250, students with 9-11.5 units receive $500 and those taking 12 units and more receive $750, all totaling about $1.8 million, according to documents provided by Hall.

Garcia said these funds were distributed to his account on May 12, 2021. 

“It came at just the right time. It helped me out with prescription coverage for the month and helped me stay in the summer semester. I couldn’t be more thankful,” he said.