Southwestern College
Southwestern College. Courtesy of the college

Southwestern College students can apply Monday for federal CARES Act funding, making the school the first community college in the region to disburse the funds to its students.

According to the Chula Vista college, $4.62 million in Federal Emergency Relief Grant funding is available for students’ food, housing, course materials, health care, technology, child care and other much-needed resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students can only apply once for the funding. Applications are available here.

Undocumented students, DACA students, AB 540 students or students enrolled in noncredit courses are ineligible, though other funding sources are available for those students, according to Southwestern College officials.

“The pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to our students and college operations,” said Governing Board President Nora E. Vargas. “While Southwestern and its partners have done so much to provide free technology, food and other assistance, we are grateful to be able to put these dollars directly into the hands of our students.”

The first distribution of funding is expected on or around May 18, and will be disbursed by the college’s financial aid department until it runs out.

Students will receive CARES Act funding awards ranging from $200 to $700 depending on a number of factors, including the student’s potential job loss or participation in college support services.

“The college received an overwhelming number of applications for the SWC CARES emergency grant from students who were not eligible for the Federal Emergency Relief Aid,” said a school spokeswoman. “The requests exceed the amount of funding available, so Southwestern College has closed the locally funded SWC CARES application. Staff will review the applications, which are on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Said Vargas: “At Southwestern College, we are committed to continue working with our foundation and other entities to assist our students — especially our students who have few other resources. We urge our California legislators and the governor to provide assistance to our immigrant students during this pandemic.”

Updated at 5:27 p.m. May 11, 2020

— City News Service