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Iowa Central gets $6.4M in virus relief

College students eligible for assistance

Iowa Central Community College has received about $6.4 million from the federal government to help it deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least $1.5 million of that must be passed along to students to assist them with costs they have encountered as the virus affected their education.

”We’re going to have some significant funds available to help and we’re thankful for that,” said Jim Kersten, the college’s vice president of external affairs and government relations..

”It’s a big boost,” he added.

The college received $6,460,442 from the COVID-19 relief measure signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27.

Of that amount, $1,526,599 is reserved for aid to students.

The part of the money allocated to the college itself can be used for these purposes:

• Making up for lost revenue.

• Paying costs associated with shifting to distance learning.

• Faculty and staff training.

• Payroll.

• Reimbursement for money already spent in response to the pandemic.

Students who qualify for Pell Grants, a form of federal financial aid, will get priority in the distribution of the money earmarked for students.

The students can use that money to pay for tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) and child care.

Kersten estimated that at least 2,000 students could be helped.

Iowa Central received $3 million through the CARES Act, which was the first federal coronavirus relief package approved in the spring of 2020. Half of that money went to students, with 1.215 of them getting assistance.

Kersten said broader eligibility requirements will make it possible to help more students with the latest round of relief money.

Between the two relief measures, the college has received a total of about $9.4 million.

Here’s a summary of federal COVID-19 pandemic relief payments to colleges in north central Iowa.

Buena Vista University, Storm Lake: $2,192,341

Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls: $1,253,256

Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge: $6,460,442

Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville: $1,921,737

Iowa State University, Ames: $34,442,265

North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City: $2,656,684

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