In 2020, North Arkansas College recently received $1,444,804 in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding with $722,402 earmarked for students use to help with financial aid and other costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State of Arkansas received nearly $129M for state and local educational institutions. The money must be used under guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Higher Education. However, institutions were given leeway in how the aid is distributed.
Northark distributed Pioneer Strong Grants (PSG) to students in the amount of $50 per credit hour to many students in the spring, summer and fall.
Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.
Students received an email through their official Northark accounts with instructions on how to apply for the PSG funds through an online form.
Northark used the remainder of the grant funds to upgrade technology and other activities to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the second round of CARES Act money provided a total of $2.8 million with $722,402 going to students as aid. The College gave the highest priority to Pell Grant-eligible students who received $66 per credit hour. Other eligible students received $33 per credit hour for pandemic expenses.