CARES Act Funding for Local Students

Many college students already pinch every penny to be able to pay for tuition and living expenses.  Pile on the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions, and earning their degree became even more difficult.

Luckily, money from the CARES Act was earmarked to support students, including those at Bates Technical College in Tacoma.  Through two funding phases, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund granted financial awards to current students at Bates Technical College.  Some of the eligible expenses included tuition and fees, but also food, housing, health care and childcare.  The goal of the grants was to cover expenses that affect a student’s ability to stay in college and complete their education. 

One of those students was Jenae McCabe, a Tacoma native and student at Bates who enrolled in March 2020 just as the stay at home orders were put in place.  According to McCabe, “I enrolled in Bates to improve my employment opportunities.  I want to support myself and my 11-year old daughter through a job that allows me regular hours and a lifestyle where I’m not living paycheck to paycheck.”

Slated to graduate in June 2021 with an Associate Degree in Applied Science, McCabe had taken out a loan to assist her through her first two quarters.   “When I heard from my co-workers that I was eligible for the HEERF grant, I knew I could stay and complete my degree,” she said.

McCabe used the grant money to pay for child-care, food, utilities and more.  Before the HEERF grant, she doubted she was going to be able to finish school. Now, she has a job in the college’s financial aid office as a work-study student where she tells others about available money.  “I’m spreading the word while working at the front desk, doing paperwork and data entry,” McCabe said with pride.

Following graduation, McCabe plans to put her work experience and education from Bates to use as an Administrative Assistant. 

You can learn more about the federal relief money available at Bates using this link  CARES act disbursement.