GCC sends out CARES Act payments to help students during COVID-19 

Guam Community College (file photo)

One day after the Guam Community College received its funds from the CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for College Students Impacted by Coronavirus Outbreak, direct payments to students were sent out. All GCC students who remain enrolled in for-credit courses during the Spring 2020 semester should expect to receive their checks within the next several days.

According to the USDOE notice, “the CARES Act provides nearly $14 billion to support postsecondary education students and institutions. Colleges and universities are required to utilize the $6.28 billion made available today to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare.”

Although GCC’s grant amount is $1,149,350, the release of only 50%, or $574,645 is available for drawdown for the purpose of direct to student aid. The release of the remaining 50% is pending announcement from USDOE.

“We are very concerned that our students feel supported during this time, so we wanted to get the checks to them as soon as possible,” according to GCC’s President, Dr. Mary Okada.

Immediately after receiving the notice from USDOE, GCC’s team started verifying all currently enrolled students who are in for-credit programs and asked students to ensure their mailing address on record is up-to-date.

“Through our transformational process, the college coined the phrase Students first, Mission always and our team really lived up to that motto,” added Okada. “This was a collaborative institutional effort made by our team: MIS , the Business Office, Registration and Admissions, Assessment Institutional Effectiveness & Research (AIER), and our management team, in support of our students. Our task was identified and everyone pitched in to get it done.”