Southern Washington colleges receive funding for infrastructure, virus relief

WSU Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College and Yakima Valley College have received money to empower their students.
Southern Washington
Image Courtesy of Washington State University

SOUTHERN WASHINGTON — College students throughout the world are dealing with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Southern Washington, students have adapted to a new normal despite the world changing rapidly around them. With that in mind, government funding is being allocated to public colleges throughout the region to empower students to stick with their education and power through these trying times.

Two community colleges in the region are receiving additional federal funding to aid students directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility for emergency funding provided by the federal CARES Act is expanding to undocumented students at both Yakima Valley College and Columbia Basin College.

In a joint statement released on Thursday, the Southern Washington colleges announced that a third round of federal financial support (known as Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III) will be distributed soon. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education expanded eligibility standards. In turn, this gave schools more leeway regarding how they distribute these funds to students in need.

RELATED: PNWU gets $8 million pledge for Yakima campus expansion

Section 18004c of the CARES Act states that schools must allocate at least 50 percent of their funds “to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”

In the previous round of financial aid, these schools provided between $1,000 and $1,800 per quarter, per student.

For Yakima Valley College students directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, click here for more information.

For Columbia Basin College students directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, click here for more information.

RELATED: Washington not yet weighing school COVID vaccine mandate

On Tuesday, Washington State University (WSU) announced that it will receive a boost in state funding through the 2021–2023 biennial operating and capital budgets signed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee Tuesday. The school, which has campuses throughout the state, will receive an additional $46 million compared with the previous operating budget.

As a result of these budget increases, WSU Tri-Cities is receiving $656,000 that will be used on maintenance and operations funding for the campus’s Academic Building.

RECENT EDUCATION HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

RELATED: Beloved Walla Walla High School specialist receives inaugural RISE award