Northern Marianas College students can now apply for the federal assistance provided by the U.S Department of Education under the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act.
All eligible, full-time NMC students received an email yesterday informing them how they could apply for the assistance. Students were asked to fill out an e-form regarding their preferred way of receiving the assistance and their personnel information to ensure that eligible students receive the funds as soon as possible.
“We would like to provide funds in the soonest possible time and in the safest manner given the social distance requirements that are in place throughout the CNMI,” the email stated.
NMC received confirmation on April 11 from the U.S Department of Education that a provision in the CARES Act would provide approximately $1.8 million to the college.
In an email from interim president Frankie Eliptico to all NMC students on April 12, out of the $1.8 million that NMC received, $920,000 is reserved for NMC students whose lives were severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The college is currently working on the allocations for the students and the remaining portion of the grant will be provided by U.S. Department of Education at a later date after the issuance of additional guidance.
Eliptico said in his email that the grant’s guidelines indicate that the funding should be used to shoulder school-related expenses that include course materials, technology, housing, food, health care, and child care.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stated in a letter to NMC that the department will be working expeditiously to set aside the remainder of the $1.8 million that is reserved for institutional use.
The department has yet to provide additional information on how institutions can apply for the funding, as well as other emergency funding.