EAC Getting $8M From American Rescue Plan
THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College will receive more than $8 million as a result of the American Rescue Plan.
“Approximately half of that money — $4.1 million — has to go directly to students,” said Charmaine Chidester, director of grants for EAC.
The funds will be turned into COVID-19 Emergency Aid Grants of $1,000 a semester to qualified students.
The other half of the money is required to be used to cover COVID-related expenses.
“That can be defraying lost revenues; that can be for PPE, all of the signage and the plastic barriers we had to put up. We have, obviously, lots of small expenses, like any institution took on like that, including labor to get it done,” Chidester said.
To ensure the best possible outcomes for those expenditures, Chidester said the college asked faculty and staff on ways the college could improve. That resulted in the EA Cares Initiative, which mitigates issues during the current pandemic, as well as prepares the college for any future crisis.
All of Arizona’s public community colleges and universities received funding in this round of the American Rescue Plan; however, it is Eastern Arizona College that will be receiving the least.
Arizona’s public colleges and universities will share in $471 million in emergency funding. The three universities will receive the greatest amount, with Arizona State receiving $191.4 million, the University of Arizona getting $83.5 million and $66.2 million going to Northern Arizona University.
Of the community colleges, three of the colleges in the Maricopa County Community College system — Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale — will collect a combined $85.1 million. Arizona Western in Yuma will receive $16.5 million, followed by Yavapai College getting $10.7 million, Cochise College with $9.6 million and, finally, Eastern Arizona with $8.3 million.
“The success of our local and state educational institutions is critical to the success of Arizona’s population, economy and future leaders,” said U.S. Rep Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., in announcing the funding. “I was proud to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan to provide struggling students with urgent relief that will help them to stay on track and complete their education.”