CARES Act Phase 2 Funding at Fairmont State 

Emma Delk, Staff Reporter

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was created by Congress to provide $2.2 trillion for economic stimulus to counteract the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. A part of this economic fallout came upon colleges, including Fairmont State, who were allocated $6.2 billion for institutional support, and emergency financial aid for college students. Part of this institutional support goes directly to students, as qualifying students at colleges can apply to receive extra financial support during this difficult time. Fairmont State was awarded $1,713,280 by the U.S. Department of Education and has used the full amount received to provide emergency grants to assist students. 

“We received the funds at the beginning of May and began distributing the funds to the students who applied and were eligible based on the federal guidance that we received. The funds had to go directly to the students, they could not be used for anything else such as tuition/fees, room/board, etc.” said Fairmont States’ Office of Financial Aid Director, Patricia Weimer about the money they were awarded.  

The federal guidance to allocate the funds were provided by the Department of Education. To be eligible to receive a CARES Act grant, students had to be Title IV eligible. Criteria for a student to be Title IV includes more technical criteria, such as having completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year. Other criteria are more student-based, such as not being a degree program offered solely online and making satisfactory academic progress. Fairmont State has awarded both part-time and full-time students, as long as they were taking at least one on-campus course. 

Fairmont State University has also created the SAFE (Student Academic Financial Emergency) Fund, which allows students to apply for some immediate funding to assist with medical expenses, food, etc. Patricia Weimer says their main goal with the SAFE Fund is to help as many students at Fairmont State as they can. The SAFE Fund can be given to students who have or have not received a CARES Act GrantSAFE funds are separate from CARES Act funding. Even when the CARES Act money has been completely allocated, students at Fairmont State that are still struggling can still have the SAFE Fund to fall back on.  

“This fund began in late Spring and we assisted over 30 students based on the funding that we had at that time. Due to the available funding at this time, the award amounts are between $100 and $300 as we are trying to serve as many students as possible” says Patricia Weimer.  

Students at Fairmont State can feel secure in the fact that no matter how COVID has affected them financially, there are funds available at Fairmont State that can keep them moving forward. 

If a student would like to apply for a SAFE Fund Request, they can find it here

Courtesy of FSU Website