COVID-19 Update: Parents
Latest FAQ on Reimbursement Grant (May 15, 2020)
Many factors went into calculating the amount of the grant and whether one would be issued. Those factors include demonstrated need as determined by filing a FAFSA, eligibility for a Cal Grant, being a recipient of an academic, athletic or performance-based grant from the college, and whether or not a student has received supplemental grants/scholarships from specific programs or initiatives. Other factors included whether or not you finished the semester on campus and in the DC, whether or not you were a work-study student, and whether or not you were involved in a Westmont-led off-campus program. Many other factors were considered as well.
Yes. Westmont College is committed to using funds from the Federal CARES Act (and any other funding provided by the federal government) to help the students with the greatest need while meeting the needs of as many students as possible. The government has, however, put restrictions on how the CARES Act funds (the only funds currently available) can be used. An online form is available to allow students to apply for additional grant funds. These limited funds will be made available to students who have incurred significant additional expenses as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 and who also received federal student aid (for example, Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, or Federal Direct Student Loans). That application will remain available until June 15, after which the funds will be allocated in the most equitable manner possible, taking into consideration the needs and expenses of each student.
The Reimbursement Grant represents your/your student’s portion of the funds that are available to students in recognition of the fact that students and families very likely had unanticipated costs that were directly related to having to leave campus at the middle of the spring semester.
There will not be any direct refund of room and board expenses. This is largely due to the fact that most of the costs of housing and feeding students on campus are fixed at the start of the school year. Even after students left, we continued to maintain residence halls and pay the residence life staff (and other college staff). Similarly, we continue to have obligations related to the Dining Commons and our food service provider, Sodexho. As a result, while students needed to leave the Westmont campus, our costs were not substantially reduced.
The funding that we had available for these initial Reimbursement Grants was quite limited. The funds that you/your student received were provided by the federal government via the CARES Act. We received approximately $950,000 from that fund, half of which was required to go to students. In fact, in this initial payment, we have given approximately $940,000 to our students. Furthermore, we have committed to passing any funds from the federal government along to students. There are a few more stimulus bills working their way through Congress. While, at this time, we cannot know whether these will pass or how much money will come from them, we are hopeful that we'll be able to do more.
That said, we currently have limited funding available in a supplemental grant fund that is set aside for students who had expenses that exceeded the Reimbursement Grant and that were directly related to the disruption of campus operations during the spring semester. Application for that grant is made online at this link and is due by June 15.
If you have experienced significant additional expenses related to Westmont's disruption of campus activities AND you receive federal student aid, please fill out this form by June 15. All applications received will be considered for supplemental grants, some of which may be funded from sources beyond those provided by the CARES Act.