SSC to Offer Relief Funds to Students through CARES Act

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Seminole State College has received an allocation of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that is being provided by the U.S. Department of Education through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist students in the amount of $580,000.

The funds will be distributed to students based on specific guidance from the U.S. Department of Education as well as procedures established by SSC. The money is intended to provide help to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Students must be eligible for Title IV federal aid to qualify for this program but do not have to be current recipients of those grant funds.

Students were contacted about steps to take to receive funding, based on their credit hour enrollment in Spring 2020 on Friday morning, May 1. Within two hours, more than 100 students had applied to receive aid. The College projects that qualifying students who were taking 15 credit hours will receive $675.

There will also be approximately $50,000 of that money awarded on the basis of need. A separate application will be released to students looking to receive these need-based awards. A Campus CARES Committee, comprised of Leslie Sewell, Assistant Athletic Director and SGA and Food Pantry Sponsor; Christal Knowles, Social Sciences Associate Professor and SSC HELP Center; Lindsay Hernandez, Office Manager, President’s Office; Janna Wilson-Byrd, Director of Student Support Services Grant; Marc Hunter, Director of Information Technology; John Bolander, Assistant Professor of Language Arts; and Kelly Hankal, Director of Medical Laboratory Technology, will be evaluating applications for those funds.

“The distribution of this money is a complex process that involves multiple entities and departments, including the federal government. We are continually and cautiously making preparations to get this money into the hands of our students as expeditiously as possible. We are very grateful for these funds and hope this will provide some relief for our students during this time,” SSC President Lana Reynolds said in memo sent to campus on April 30.

The College’s Financial Aid team will host webinars on Monday, May 4, at 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to answer any questions students may have. The link to join these webinars can be found on the SSC website,, on the COVID-19 information page.