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Gadsden State to disburse CARES Act funds to eligible students

May 11, 2020

Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State Community College, announced in an email to students that funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be distributed by May 22 to eligible students based on guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The funds provide economic relief for students enrolled in one or more traditional classroom courses when COVID-19 measures were instituted and instruction was moved to online delivery.

Students receiving checks must be “eligible” as defined by DOE guidelines and may use the funds “for expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.”


How much in CARES Act funds were distributed to Gadsden State for emergency student aid?



How many Gadsden State students have been deemed eligible to receive CARES Act funds?

2,496 students (62% of students enrolled in Spring Semester)


Who is eligible for CARES Act funds?

Students who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Students working towards a degree or certificate at Gadsden State
  • Students enrolled in at least one traditional (in-person) course on one of the five Gadsden State campuses
  • Students who have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with the Financial Aid Office OR those who are eligible to apply for FAFSA
  • Students who have a satisfactory academic progress (SAP) status
  • Students enrolled at Gadsden State during the Spring Semester (with exception to those who exclusively attended Spring Mini I Term)


Who is not eligible for CARES Act funds?

  • Students enrolled exclusively in online courses
  • Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders)
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students
  • Dual-enrolled high school students (ACE Institute)
  • Students who do not have a valid high school diploma or equivalent
  • Incarcerated students
  • Students enrolled exclusively in Spring Mini I Term
  • Students who withdrew from all Gadsden State classes as of close of business on March 16


Did Gadsden State determine the eligibility requirements?

No. The guidelines for eligibility were issued by the U.S. Department of Education.


How will students be notified about their eligibility?

Students who can expect a CARES Act check will be notified via email by May 15. The eligibility email will be sent to the primary email address the student has listed in OneACCS.


How will Gadsden State spend/disburse CARES Act funds?

  • Residence Hall Refunds – As of March 17, 71 students residing in Fowler Hall on the Wallace Drive Campus are eligible to receive funds. Dates the students left campus were monitored, and refunds were calculated based on a per day of cost for residence. Total spent on Residence Hall Refunds is $21,287.70.
  • Food Service Refunds – Using the same list of eligible students from Fowler Hall, 71 students will receive a partial refund for food service from the date of departure through May 8. Total spent on Food Service Refunds is $27,919.36.
  • Technology Grants – A total of 2,496 students have been deemed eligible to receive emergency financial assistance in the amount of $733 per student for a total of $1,829,568.


How will eligible students receive CARES Act funds?

A check will be mailed to the student to the address on record by May 22. Those eligible should log into myGadsdenState and verify their home address to ensure the check will arrive in a timely manner.


Are there guidelines/requirements on how students can spend CARES Act funds?