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$1M earmarked for cash grants for Lamar State-PA students

College students in Port Arthur suffering expense-related disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including tuition, course materials, technology and housing shortfalls, may be receiving a financial lifeline.

Lamar State College Port Arthur officials said the school is receiving $1,056,684 to provide cash grants to students.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is dedicating the funding.

The funding is expected to be distributed in the coming weeks, and Lamar State College Port Arthur will develop a distribution plan based on the recommendations of the Department of Education.

“Our primary goal is to positively impact the greatest number of students at LSCPA with this grant distribution,” LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard said. “And we will do that as quickly as possible.”

Public Information Coordinator Gerry L. Dickert said once LSCPA receives the funds and instructions, school officials will begin contacting students directly with emails, texts and information at its web page.

Reynard said the pandemic has been a disruption to everyday life, with students seeing their schedules upended.

“They’ve been diligent and dedicated to their schoolwork,” Reynard said. “I’m proud that we’ll be able to assist our students through this grant in making their lives at least a little bit easier.”

According to Reynard, the college is working to distribute the grants as quickly as possible once funding is received.

She said the college’s first responsibility in an emergency situation is supporting local students.

“We know they are struggling on many different levels,” she said. “We are thrilled that we will soon be able to offer a measure of reassurance with the concerns they have about their finances and being able to continue their education at Lamar State College Port Arthur.”

School officials said nearly $31 billion was earmarked by Congress for distribution to students in K-12 schools and higher education institutions under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

An additional fund allocation is expected in the coming days, according to DeVos, for use by colleges and universities to meet their institutional and emergency needs due to the pandemic.