CARES Act Information


CARES Act funding from the United States Department of Education is to provide emergency financial aid grants (commonly known as CARES Grants) to assist eligible students with expenses related to the disruption of campus activities due to the COVID-19 crisis. Southwest Mississippi Community College (SMCC) recently signed an agreement with the United States Department of Education to accept funds as part of the CARES Act.


The college recently received CARES Act funding from the United States Department of Education in the amount of $1,160,085.00 that will be disbursed to eligible students.    CARES Act funds will be sent to eligible students enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester.  Funds will be sent to eligible students in the form of a check and will be issued during the week of June 22-26.  Approximately 1,200 SMCC students are eligible for CARES Act payments.


CARES Act funds were provided with a significant set of rules and eligibility requirements from the federal government.  The CARES Act does exclude some students from eligibility.  Per the U.S. Department of Education, the following students are not eligible to receive CARES Act funding:

  1. Students enrolled exclusively in on-line classes.

  2. Dual Enrolled or Dual Credit students.

  3. MI-BEST students.

  4. Adult Education Program students.

  5. Students who withdrew from the Spring 2020 term prior to March 13, 2020, the date the CARES Act was enacted.

  6. Students on financial aid suspension.

The College intends to award grants to eligible students in the following manner:  All eligible students at SMCC are receiving funds based on their enrollment hours of on-campus classes for the Spring 2020 term.  No payment will be made for on-line classes.  Eligible students are receiving $81.86 per on-campus credit hour for a maximum of 15 hours.  For example, an eligible student taking 12 on-campus credit hours will receive $982.32 (12 hours * $81.86 per hour).  Maximum grant is $1,227.90 (15 hours * 81.86 per hour).


CARES Act grant funds can be used by students to pay any outstanding SMCC account balances or to register for future classes.  Please keep in mind, students with outstanding balances are not allowed to receive a transcript or register for future classes.


Students who have not received funds and believe they are entitled to CARES Act funds may submit a request with supporting documentation as to why they are eligible to the college via email at the following email address:


June 18, 2020