CSUF to receive over $41 million in aid as pandemic grips U.S.

(Omar Sanchez)

Cal State Fullerton will receive $41 million in coronavirus aid, half of which will go to students who have faced unexpected and urgent needs related to the coronavirus.

California Rep. Gil Cisneros announced Wednesday that nearly $100 million in aid would be distributed to students, colleges and universities located in the 39th district, which encompasses parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. 

Half of the funding must be distributed to students to provide financial support for “unexpected and urgent needs,” such as expenses related to food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and child care.

Over $20 million will be allocated to CSUF students through the Emergency Financial Aid Grants, which come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act.

The CARES Act will also temporarily suspend federal student loan payments and alter the provisions to financial aid, federal work-study, supplemental educational-opportunity grants and foreign institutions.   

“During these unprecedented times, we are thankful to the federal government for the opportunity to continue to support our students. We are working with various campus partners and the Department of Education to get these funds distributed to our students,” said Tami Bui, CSUF associate vice president of Government and Community Relations.

The CARES Act was the third and largest economic stimulus package passed to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.

“As a result of this pandemic, our schools have had to abruptly shut down and transition to online learning, upending the lives of countless students, many of whom rely on their school for food and housing,” Cisneros said in a statement. 

The Education Stabilization Fund, created by the CARES Act, is set to support schools K-12, colleges and universities, and it will continue to be available through Sept. 30, 2021. 

The fund contains approximately $30.75 billion and will be divided into three sectors: about $13.2 billion of funding for K-12, nearly $14 billion of funding to higher education and nearly $3 billion of funding to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

CSUF is not alone in receiving emergency financial assistance. Cal Poly Pomona, Fullerton College and Mt. San Antonio College will also receive funding. 

“This crisis has unmasked a number of challenges that members of our community face on a regular basis. Specifically, it has exposed the fact that students and families living in poverty are experiencing the worst of this crisis. These funds coming directly to Fullerton College will provide vital help to keep our students learning and engaged, but more importantly safe and healthy,” said Greg Schulz, the president of Fullerton College. 

On April 6, Cisneros announced that the district would be receiving over $31 million in aid from the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate last month.   

The relief package is designed to financially support small businesses, individuals, federal safety nets, big corporations, state and local governments, hospitals, public health and education.

Cisneros said that the funds would provide aid for homeless assistance, health facilities, child care centers, food banks, senior services and other needs pertaining to the economy or housing. 

“Our cities and counties are on the frontlines dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. From my conversations and meetings with local leaders, organizations, health centers and small businesses, I know they need more resources and funding to keep our communities safe,” Cisneros said in a press release. 

It will also provide additional funding to health care organizations and will allow for the further expansion of health insurance coverage for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the new virus. 

As of Wednesday, there have been 1,376 reported cases of coronavirus — including 22 coronavirus-related deaths — in Orange County, according to the OC Health Care Agency. The city of Fullerton has had 42 reported cases.

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