Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-31st District) has announced more than $47 million in federal funding to support Inland Empire colleges and students during the coronavirus crisis.
The funding, which was appropriated by the CARES Act, provides $26,243,781 for Cal San Bernardino (CSUSB), $6,732,563 for San Bernardino Valley College, $3,388,020 for University of Redlands, and $11,446,484 for Chaffey College.
The CARES Act requires that at least 50 percent of all funds go toward direct relief for students in the form of tuition assistance, financial aid, meal programs and other student services.
“The Inland Empire’s students, colleges and universities have always been points of pride in our community. This funding will help these institutions keep their doors open and continue serving students during this difficult time. It will also help students and their families navigate the financial hardships created by this crisis. I was proud to help pass the CARES Act to provide these resources to our community, and I’ll continue to advocate for the Inland Empire as Congress debates next steps,” Aguilar said.
“This is wonderful news that will offer a welcome relief to our students and their families in the face of the threat of the coronavirus,” said CSUSB President Tomás Morales. “The funding will help our students live and pay for their essential needs, while keeping them attending CSUSB, as they deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful for their support.”
Dr. Henry Shannon, superintendent and president of Chaffey College, was very pleased to receive news about the funding.
"Nearly 70 percent of our students receive financial assistance as they pursue their academic goals at Chaffey College. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our students greatly as many have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet for themselves and their families. The college is still determining a methodology for funding allocation; however, we believe the funding should be distributed to our students most in need, particularly in the areas of technology and basic needs. The college's Panther Care Program, which is designed to help our students who are food and housing insecure, will have an integral role in helping us determine the best way to distribute this funding,” Shannon said.
Aguilar, whose district includes part of Fontana, serves as a chief deputy whip in the House Democratic Caucus and as vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee, the committee responsible for allocating federal funds.