Out of the $6 million Bakersfield College received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, about half has already been disbursed to students in need, the college said.
According to BC officials, emergency grants are being disbursed directly to students to help them cover expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care costs.
"Bakersfield College is actively monitoring the financial needs of students and is taking a long-term, full-year perspective approach when it comes to disbursing funds,"said Financial Aid Director Jennifer Achan.
To maximize the impact of the funds, BC said it is identifying those students with the greatest level of need through a sliding scale. The college said it looks at each student and factors in family size, number of dependents, and Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by the Department of Education.
Part-time students, undocumented students and international students are not eligible for CARES Act funds, under federal guidelines. But BC is working to still provide those students with the funding they need during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Many students at Bakersfield College are part-time students, as is typical for community colleges," said Achan.
The college said it is looking at alternative grants to assist those who do not qualify for a CARES payment. Some of those methods include private philanthropy, federal funding (like Pell Grants), state funding (like Cal Grants), and scholarships from individual, local, and corporate sources.