The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides funding to institutions to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitman College has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement form, assuring that the College has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic.

Whitman College has received a total of $764,766. Fifty percent of that amount—$382,383—will be distributed directly to students. The remainder of CARES Act funding will go to help offset the College’s expenses and loss of revenue that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Education instructs institutions to distribute the emergency funds to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Examples of eligible expenses related to a student’s cost of attendance include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

The Office of Financial Aid is working to distribute the CARES Act emergency funds to students based on financial need. Any current, degree-seeking student who was enrolled at least half time in spring 2020 and is eligible for Title IV financial aid is eligible for CARES Act funds. Students whose expected family contribution is less than $40,000 received an email with instructions on how to apply for CARES Act funds. Applications will be evaluated, and funds distributed in order to have the most impact on students in need. Requests for funds must be received by May 22, 2020.

If you have questions about CARES Act funds, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at

The federal government is not allowing CARES Act money to be used to support international or undocumented students, however, Whitman College is committed to providing alternative emergency aid funding. International and undocumented students who are facing financial hardship because of COVID-19 should also submit the funding application. Applications are due by May 22, 2020. If you have questions about emergency funds, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at