Monroe College Distributes $2.6 Million in First Round of CARES Act Emergency Relief Grants for Struggling Students

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More than $6 Million to be Disbursed in Funds and Technology Resources to Assist Students in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

More than 90% of the grant recipients live near our New York campuses in the Bronx and New Rochelle – two of the pandemic’s hardest hit areas. We know that their families are struggling and that we had to do everything we could to help them.

Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, today announced that $2.63 million was distributed last Friday in the first round of CARES Act emergency relief grants to students. The College will distribute at least $6.1 million this year in aid to help students who experienced financial hardships in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monroe received $5.7 million in CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) that is earmarked for students. The College received $11.4 million in total. Institutions are required to distribute at least 50% to students. Eligible full-time students received a $1,000 cash grant on Friday, with part-time students receiving a pro-rated amount based on their course load.

“Our team worked incredibly hard to get these much-needed funds into the hands of our students as quickly as possible,” said Marc Jerome, president of Monroe College. “More than 90% of the grant recipients live near our New York campuses in the Bronx and New Rochelle – two of the pandemic’s hardest hit areas. We know that their families are struggling and that we had to do everything we could to help them.”

As part of its comprehensive efforts to support student success, Monroe also invested $100,000 in a newly established Student Laptop Program to provide a laptop to many students in need. Monroe’s Bronx campus is located in the poorest Congressional district in the country. As many students do not have a computer at home, they struggled to keep up with their classes when instruction transitioned to the online environment last semester as the public health crisis escalated. They connected to their classes via their phones, which was not ideal.

After sharing whatever laptops were available, Monroe purchased 250 laptops to help many of these students succeed in the virtual classrooms for the current Spring semester, which started April 30th. They were distributed during the last two weeks.

President Jerome noted: “The heart-warming, grateful emails from students who benefited from the emergency relief grant or laptop program underscore the incredible need in the community for significant relief from the financial stress that coronavirus has caused. I am so proud of our team for their great work to provide assistance so quickly through these two initiatives.”

Among the comments he received from students:

  • “…Just wanted to say thank you for that financial help. You have no idea how much (the grant) helped my family…We all got laid off from our jobs and have had it hard due to COVID 19.”
  • “…My mom just called and said she got the laptop. It came! I can’t wait to start doing my assignments without any problem or difficulty. Thank you for being my support system. I’m grateful!”
  • “…Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been very hard for me to get my life back on track…(The grant) helps to bring a little ease to my financial burden.”
  • “ …I am writing this email to thank you for providing us with a laptop during the time when we needed it the most, (thanks to) the uncertain and sad event of the pandemic forcing us to take online classes.”

About Monroe College’s CARES Act HEERF Allocation

Monroe was allocated $5,704,039 for student aid through the HEERF program. The first emergency relief grants to students were made within 10 days of the funds becoming available to the College. To date, $2,637,500 has been distributed, with nearly 79% (2,934) of the 3,734 eligible students receiving a grant. Additional grants will be provided to the remaining 800 eligible students as they complete their required Student Certification Form.

Monroe has a second, supplemental grant program to distribute the remaining $3,066,539 in student aid to eligible students who experienced financial hardship not covered by the grant distributed last Friday.

Founded in 1933, Monroe College is a recognized leader in urban and international education. The College is proud of its innovative programs to increase college access, affordability, and completion outcomes, especially among first-generation students. The strength of its warm, supportive culture is reflected in the personal connections fostered among students, faculty, and staff.

Monroe educates close to 8,000 students each year, offering Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs from campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and St. Lucia. Students may also take courses online. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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Jacqueline Ruegger
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