Tyler Junior College has disbursed emergency federal grants to 2,443 TJC students whose lives and educations were disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

TJC has distributed $2.1 million in immediate grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. More funding could be awarded following new federal guidelines.

When the federal government released the application for the CARES Act grant funding in mid-April, TJC formed a task force to develop policies and procedures to proactively award the grants to students who were most acutely impacted by the health crisis. Students eligible for Title IV aid who experienced extra expenses related to the campus disruption were considered for the grants.

“We knew we needed to get the funds to affected students quickly to help alleviate some financial worries so they could concentrate on completing their college coursework,” said Devon Wiggins, TJC director of financial aid and chair of the TJC CARES Act grant task force.

“This money was a huge benefit for me financially,” said Kye Harris, TJC sophomore professional tennis management major from Overland Park, Kansas. “It helped me be able to provide food and groceries since I could not live on campus anymore due to online schooling.”

Emily Grimes, a sophomore nursing major from Fruitvale, said, “I work a part-time job and really had to save up my money to pay the bills and school funds that need to be taken care of. I drove more than 15 minutes from my house just to have access to Wi-Fi every day to complete all of my schoolwork. So, gas money is tight as well as all my finances. So, this extra money from the TJC CARES Act grant will help me so much.”

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