Aguilar announces over $47 million in coronavirus relief funds for Inland Empire students, colleges

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Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar announced over $47 million in federal funding to support Inland Empire colleges and students during the coronavirus crisis. The funding, which was appropriated by the CARES Act, provides $26,243,781 for California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), $6,732,563 for San Bernardino Valley Community College, $3,388,020 for University of Redlands, and $11,446,484 for Chaffey College. The CARES Act requires that the at least 50 percent of all funds go toward direct relief for students in the form of tuition assistance, financial aid, meal programs and other student services.

“The Inland Empire’s students, colleges and universities have always been points of pride in our community. This funding will help these institutions keep their doors open and continue serving students during this difficult time. It will also help students and their families navigate the financial hardships created by this crisis. I was proud to help pass the CARES Act to provide these resources to our community, and I’ll continue to advocate for the Inland Empire as Congress debates next steps,” said Rep. Aguilar.

“This is wonderful news that will offer a welcome relief to our students and their families in the face of the threat of the coronavirus,” said CSUSB President Tomás Morales. “The funding will help our students live and pay for their essential needs, while keeping them attending CSUSB, as they deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful for their support.”

“Our students will be our future scientists, doctors, nurses, and first responders, and they’re at home right now, eager to learn and fulfill their potential,” says San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees Chair, Dr. Anne Viricel. “We applaud the urgent action and bipartisan leadership of Congressman Aguilar, and our Inland Empire delegation, in passing the CARES Act to protect the well-being and future of our students, our families, and our communities,” said Dr. Anne Viricel, Chair of the SBCCD Board of Trustees

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“While the full extent of the financial disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, passage of the CARES Act is an important step in sustaining the capacity of our nation’s colleges and universities to provide higher education,” stated University of Redlands President Ralph W. Kuncl. “This critical funding will allow us to respond to the unprecedented financial and operational challenges of the pandemic, as we work to continue meeting the needs of our students, who represent the country’s future workforce.”

“Nearly 70 percent of our students receive financial assistance as they pursue their academic goals at Chaffey College. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our students greatly as many have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet for themselves and their families. The college is still determining a methodology for funding allocation, however, we believe the funding should be distributed to our students most in need, particularly in the areas of technology and basic needs. The college’s Panther Care Program, which is designed to help our students who are food and housing insecure, will have an integral role in helping us determine the best way to distribute this funding,” said Dr. Henry Shannon, Superintendent and President of Chaffey College.

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