College of the Desert students can apply for emergency funding


Graphic created by Adjoa Aikins

College of the Desert receives $3,530,673.00 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants from the Higher Education Emergecny Relief Fund ll ( HEERF ll). Funds are to be disbursed in late May.

College of the Desert received over $3.5 million in Emergency Financial Aid Grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund ll ( HEERF ll) for students who the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted. 

The college hopes to distribute $1.5 million to all eligible students who submit a Higher Education Emergency Fund ll application by April 4, 2021. Students who meet the requirements needed to receive the grant and complete the application can expect to receive disbursed funds by the end of the spring semester in May. 

The amount granted will be based on the total number of eligible applicants the college receives. 

The college plans to distribute $500,000 to eligible students who have submitted a HEERF ll application. The amount will again be dependent on how many students have applied. The college will then distribute the third phase of funds to eligible students in the fall of the 2021 semester. 

         To be eligible, students must

  • Be registered in a spring 2021 course
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Be enrolled in a certificate or associate degree program at COD
  • Have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA application 
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED).
  • Be in a program leading to obtaining a degree or certificate

The U.S. Department of Education previously announced on Jan. 14 that an additional $21.2 billion would be available to higher education students and would provide eligible students who the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted. For the spring 2021 semester, the federal government authorized all grant funding to provide students with emergency funding from COVID-19 with the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund ll, approved by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA).

Emergency grants were originally disbursed after the first phase of grants were distributed to students of the spring 2021 Federal Pell Grant. Students who were not eligible for the Pell Grant but filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be able to receive financial assistance.

Students will not be required to pay any of these grants back, but they are expected to use them towards school expenses, food, technology, health care, and corresponding financial needs.

Amanda Robles, who is working towards an art degree and hopes to complete her degree by the end of the spring 2021 semester but, like many students impacted by the pandemic, had a difficult time adjusting, was surprised to see that the school was offering another emergency grant.

Amanda says that if she is eligible for the grant, she hopes to put it away in savings for when the time comes for her to transfer. 

“I’m doing better than I was when classes first moved online,” Robles says.”The extra time has helped me figure out what my next steps will be when I can transfer.” 

Robles adds, “I’m still living with my parents, but for the most part, I pay for myself, so the grant would help with being able to save a little more money.”

To apply for the HEERF II grant, click here. For more information or questions, contact the Financial Aid Office at [email protected]  or call 760-773-2532.