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For Immediate Release
January 20, 2021

CARES Act, A Lifeline for Students During Pandemic

Suffolk County Community College distributed more than $6.5 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to more than 11,000 students as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or, CARES Act, the College announced.

“Many of our students experienced severe financial hardships in trying to continue their education because of job losses and family illness. The CARES Act funds helped alleviate some of those hardships,” said Suffolk County Community College Interim President Louis Petrizzo.”  Student workers were the first to lose their part time jobs and CARES Act funds helped put food on many student’s family tables.”

Petrizzo explained that the CARES Act dollars could be used by students not only for college related expenses, but for any hardship expense related to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students used the emergency funds for transportation, insurance, food, and rent, among other pandemic related expenses.

Congress provided emergency grants through the CARES Act for postsecondary education students and institutions across the country. These emergency grants were specifically allocated to help students cover unexpected expenses related to any disruptions to their education due to campus closures triggered by COVID-19. To receive the student aid funding, colleges were first required to submit an application and receive approval from the U.S. Department of Education.

The CARES Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27th, 2020.