EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Community College is encouraging students whose education has been impacted by COVID-19, to apply for American Rescue Plan Act Grant Funding Beginning July 19th.

EPCC said additional financial relief for students will be distributed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This is the third allocation of funding which is part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) made available by congress to help institutions and students cope from the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Education directed the funding be available directly to students affected by the pandemic.

Students who face financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and are registered for the fall semester may apply for $750 if enrolled part-time and $1,000 if they are enrolled full-time. This money does not have to be paid back. Students who receive this emergency aid may apply their grant to any COVID-19 related expense including housing, food, mental healthcare, childcare, rent or even tuition.

“The American Rescue Plan is an important investment to ensure that students in our region have the resources they need to stay on track and complete their degrees,” Fernie Flores, Associate Vice President of Budget and Finance said.

EPCC said even before the pandemic a significant number of students were already experiencing insecurity in meeting basic needs. The college said more than 85% of students already receive some type of financial aid.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more challenging circumstances for our students and ARPA funding will help ease their burden,” Keri Moe, Associate Vice President of External Relations, Communication & Development said. “Even though times may feel uncertain, now is the best time to pursue or finish a college degree. Not only do college graduates earn more, the jobs of the future will require some sort of degree or certificate and this funding helps ensure that students can meet their emergency needs and achieve their goals.”

EPCC said the funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students simply need to apply and the college will send funds directly to those who qualify or they can elect to apply funding to tuition.

You can apply for this money starting on go.epcc.edu/ARPA.