Emergency Aid


In the spring of 2020, Odessa College received over $1.5 million in higher education emergency relief funds authorized under the CARES ACT.  The initial legislation enabled the college to support over 25% of our student body with emergency aid related to the transition to remote instruction. The funds have been exhausted, and the application is no longer available; however, congress has passed additional pandemic relief legislation to support community college students in 2021. Please continue to check this page for updates.

If you’re experiencing a crisis that might disrupt your education, visit bit.ly/get-edquity to download the Edquity app, apply for emergency aid, learn about helpful resources in the area, and more. Students can also apply for funding directly at app.edquity.co. Visit http://covidcollegesupport.com/ to learn more about student resources during the pandemic.

Help for Emergencies During COVID-19 Pandemic

Are you an OC student with unforeseen expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to online, virtual and remote courses? If so, you may qualify for a cash grant that provides emergency funding to eligible college students. This spring, Odessa College received a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) grant created under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be used to help our students affected by the current COVID-19 crisis. Emergency aid is available for qualifying students with financial aid and without financial aid.
Because the Cares Act funds must be directly related to hardships associated with the transition to online courses, the college will give priority to students who need technology resources that allow them to continue, uninterrupted, their pathway to degree completion at Odessa College.
Other expenses must be directly related to the changes in campus operations due to the pandemic. For example:

  • If a student needs a laptop because the college moved to online courses.
  • If a student purchased a computer, laptop or other device to connect to online courses and now is unable to pay rent, purchase food or provide other essential needs for themselves.  
  • If a student worked on campus and now the job is suspended, funds could be used to pay for expenses because the college changed operationally.  
  • If a student needs to increase or boost wi-fi access at home because the college moved to online courses.
  • If a student’s child care expenses increased due to disruption of college operations.
  • If a student is no longer living on campus and has limited access to food, transportation, and/or adequate housing.
If you or a family member lost your job and cannot afford to pay for tuition or textbooks, that expense would not be allowed because it does not relate to the college’s change in operations. Funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, tuition, fees, or child care provided you are able to demonstrate that the specific change in campus operations due to the pandemic.

Am I eligible for an emergency cash grant?

If you are a student who is eligible for federal financial aid you may qualify for an emergency cash grant. In most cases, these funds will be available to part-time and full-time students who:
  • are U.S citizen or eligible noncitizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number;
  • registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and
  • have a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting. 
Additionally, students must be making satisfactory progress toward their degree, have no defaulted federal, student loan debt, and have been enrolled in face to face classes prior to the campus wide transition to remote learning.
To determine if you qualify for emergency aid, students must complete, or have completed, the 2019-2020 or the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How will I receive the emergency aid?
  • You may receive the cash grant via direct deposit, in person pick up, or via mail.
  • Click here for information regarding direct deposit.
  • Email records@odessa.edu to update your mailing address.
When will I receive the emergency aid?
The college will review applications and distribute cash grants weeklyPriority will be given to students who have zero EFC. Zero EFC means that the student’s family has no ability to contribute to the student’s college education. In general, a dependent student’s EFC is zero when the family’s annual income is less than $24,000 and the family has filed for government assistance.  

Financial Aid Adjustment for Students who are UNEMPLOYED due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you completed the FAFSA using taxed or untaxed income that has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for an adjustment to your 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 FAFSA income data. Email financialaid@odessa.edu to learn more.

If you, or any of your family members listed on the FAFSA, are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please email financialaid@odessa.edu to determine if you are eligible for a financial aid award adjustment.  

CARES Act Information

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
    • Odessa College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement for the HERF CARES funds to the Department of Education and intends to use no less than 50% of our allocation of funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    • $1,059,015
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).
    • $419,500  07/13/2020
    • $623,500  09/01/2020
    • $791,000  10/15/2020
    • $900,500  12/15/2020
    • $1,058,015  01/15/2021
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • 4450
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • 547    07/13/2020
    • 665    09/01/2020
    • 1,063 10/15/2020
    • 1,199 12/01/2020
    • 1,274 01/15/2021
  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • Students must submit a CARES funds application and are reviewed by Student Financial Aid to check FAFSA Completion, satisfactory academic progress, loan default, high school completion, and selective service registration. All eligible students receive $500 for the semester applied for funds.
  7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
    • Students were invited to apply for CARES funds via email and the college asked students who had not yet submitted a FAFSA to submit one to be eligible for this aid. Students were notified by Email when they were awarded, lacked a FAFSA on file, or were denied. Students were also asked to setup direct deposit or ensure correct mailing address is on file to mail paper check to student.