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More than 500 CSUCI students continue studies thanks to coronavirus relief grant


CAMARILLO, Calif. - A total of 539 students were able to stay on track with their studies, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Summer Grant program at CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI).

The grant program was headed by Transfer Student Success Activity Director Veronica Montoya who was happy to see so many lives impacted by the $586,350 worth of funding that went toward the students’ education.

Montoya said the value was not only in the class and what that student will
eventually contribute to society, but also the psychological boost of staying on track, even after the global crisis had disrupted their lives.

“From the students’ perspective, they were committing to a class,” Montoya said. “They were making an academic investment of a five-week class which was so important, especially after last semester’s transition to virtual learning off-campus.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic, practical and health circumstances that came with it changed the lives of thousands of CSUCI students. Many students lost jobs or had family members who lost their jobs or got sick, and some wondered if their family and financial burdens would
prevent them from continuing in college.

“I was initially going to take summer class to ease my course load in the fall, but due to the COVID pandemic, I lost one of my part-time jobs and didn’t have the money to pay for it,” said Psychology major Monica Sifuentes, 26, of Oxnard.

Fortunately, in June, CSUCI launched the “CARES Summer Grant Program,” to provide tuition for eligible students interested in taking summer classes. The funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was enacted by the U.S. Department of Education to aid institutions of higher learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montoya said the program was so popular that enrollment for the second summer session increased drastically compared to that of the previous year. The 2020 summer session began in July and had 825 students enrolled. Last year, only 493 students enrolled for the session.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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