Coronavirus: Clark State receiving $2.9M in federal aid for students, financial relief

Clark and Champaign County colleges and universities have been granted millions in federal aid through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) — which was signed into law last month.

Clark State Community College officials said the school will receive $2.9 million.

Half of Clark State’s funds will go directly to students whose education has been impacted by COVID-19, according to a statement from the college. The other half of the funds will go to Clark State in order to provide financial relief related to coronavirus related expenses.

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“The intent of the ACT is to get the money to students quickly to help during this uncertain time,” Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State said.

In order to follow the guidelines outlined in the CARES Act, Clark State will send the money directly to students — the students simply need to apply, the statement said.

Funds from the CARES Act will be available to Clark State students on a first-come, first-served basis, the statement said, until the monies designated for students are expended.

The uses for these emergency funds include technology needs, food, tuition assistance, childcare, transportation and more, the statement said.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced April 14 that the U.S. Department of Education distributed $388 million in funding to institutions of higher education in Ohio as part of the COVID-19 response, a statement on his website said. The higher education emergency fund was provided through the bipartisan CARES Act.

“Like many industries and employers across the state, the coronavirus pandemic is having a serious impact on our higher education institutions,” Portman said. “The CARES Act rescue package that was recently signed into law included additional resources to help those institutions.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said in a post on his website the CARES Act is another “important step in the right direction.”

“I will continue working with Sen. Portman, Gov. DeWine and local leaders across Ohio to help communities get the resources they need,” Brown said.

Students can complete an application at and can expect a response within 24-hours.

“Clark State is always focused on the needs of our students. We are committed to providing support services that enable them to be successful,” Toni Overholser, director of the Clark State Foundation said. “We understand that our students are struggling in this difficult time and want to assist them … We want to reassure students that we are here for them and we will get through this together.”

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The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Wittenberg University about plans for their $1.7 million in federal aid and did not receive a response.

Wittenberg President Mike Frandsen said previously the university was reviewing options “to offer financial support to students,” including offering refunds for room and board.

“One option we are considering is a refund or a credit of partial room and board charges for the spring semester,” Frandson said previously. “We hope to have more definitive guidance on this no later than April 30, but please know that we will be issuing refunds or credits for some portion of the room and board charges that you were, unfortunately, unable to utilize.”

According to Portman’s website, funding for local institutes of higher education include:

• Cedarville Univerisity: $2,294, 323

• Clark State Community Collge: $2,914,627

• Wilberforce University: $689,372

• Wittenberg University: $1,728,770

• Wright State University: $10,140,846

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