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CARES Act Created Lifeline for FVTC Students

Financial assistance during COVID credited with keeping students in school

As Fox Valley Technical College gathers more details of how the school will benefit in a second round of funding from a federal pandemic relief bill passed in December, one thing is clear: the first round helped FVTC students tremendously. In fact, it was a financial lifeline that kept some students in school.

Last spring, FVTC received $2.6 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of that amount, $1.3 million was to be distributed directly to students. The financial assistance was earmarked for expenses students faced when FVTC had to close and change its mode of learning environment.

The CARES funding directly assisted 1,223 FVTC students. Hannah Hamilton was one of those students.

“The benefit was crucial to my academic career continuing,” Hannah explained. “I was able to purchase a computer that was absolutely imperative to keep my studies going. What I was using wasn’t good enough when we moved to the online environment.”

The CARES Act required FVTC to create specific guidelines for eligible expenses, application format and distribution amounts. Several steps were involved to determine a student’s eligibility. Acceptable expenses included reimbursement for food and personal items that had been available via the FVTC Food Pantry, utilities like internet and cell service, and technology such as a computer or printer.

“I would not have been able to continue on with my degree without this benefit,” Hannah said. “I don’t think there are adequate words to express my gratitude for this funding.”