Waubonsee Community College will use federal funds to help students pay pandemic-related expenses

SUGAR GROVE – Waubonsee Community College will use the $10 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds from the federal government to help students with unexpected expenses incurred during the pandemic, according to a news release.

These expenses include the costs associated with acquiring new technology, living and child care costs, unemployment and more.

All students demonstrating financial need are eligible to receive financial support from the emergency funding based on the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. To date, the college has distributed close to $2.4 million to 3,062 students in need. It continues to award the emergency grant funding that students can use immediately for financial needs, the release stated.

“As an institution, we are incredibly grateful to distribute federal emergency funds to help students overcome their most significant financial difficulties. Student success is our top priority,” said Dr. Stacey Randall, dean for institutional effectiveness and Title V project director.

Earlier this month, the college announced an initiative to eliminate more than $800,000 of student debt for approximately 1,600 unpaid student accounts. Eligible students are encouraged to check their student balances.

The college has chosen to fund this initiative utilizing dollars from an additional $15 million in HEERF funds allocated to the college for institutional expenses related to the pandemic. These funds have also directly provided students with science kits, technology and infrastructure to support remote learning.

Additionally, the remaining $7.6 million in student emergency funding is now available for any Waubonsee student who demonstrates financial need through the Reach Higher Scholarship. Students can leverage the Reach Higher Scholarship to overcome their most significant financial barriers, including, but not limited to:

  • Summer and Fall 2021 tuition, fees, and course materials
  • Technology
  • Food; housing; healthcare costs
  • Childcare

For specific questions about the Reach Higher Scholarship, or to direct students who have questions about the scholarship, please contact ReachHigher@waubonsee.edu.