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City Colleges receives $12.7 million in federal stimulus funds to distribute to struggling students

The money doesn’t have to be spent on tuition but can go toward day-to-day living expenses such as housing and food.

City Colleges of Chicago has received $12.7 million in federal stimulus money that will be distributed to struggling students.

The money isn’t required to go toward tuition but can be spent on day-to-day living expenses.

“Our students are hard-working and resilient, but many of them needed housing, food and financial support before the COVID-19 crisis, and this pandemic has only exacerbated their need,” Juan Salgado, chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, said in a statement announcing the stimulus money Monday.

More than 22,000 students are potentially eligible to receive a portion of the money and more than 8,000 students have already applied.

Eligible students have received texts, emails, phone calls and online notifications from City Colleges about the steps they need to take to secure financial assistance.

About 60% of the money will be disbursed, up to $350 per student, to students who attest to their need and complete a federal student aid application or already have one on file.

After applying, funds will be disbursed through direct deposit in a matter of days or in a check in a matter of weeks.

Another 40% of the money will be distributed to students experiencing homelessness and other immediate needs. Students who receive the $350 are also eligible to apply for these additional funds.

Due to stipulations, the stimulus money can’t go to any students who are not eligible for federal financial aid — such as undocumented immigrants and international students. Other restrictions apply, including one that excludes anyone who has defaulted on a student loan.

However, the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation — a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the City Colleges of Chicago — has allotted $2.6 million to help both students eligible for stimulus money and those who are not.