OPINION: Financial assistance is a need for students

BY Kiara Lara

J-101 Staff Writer

Students at East Los Angeles College should have access to more financial assistance to help with daily expenses during quarantine. 

ELAC made a considerable decision when they decided to give students a refund for the semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Financially, things might not be easy in every household at the time due to emergency quarantine order in our county.

The CARES Act is a funding bill passed by the Trump administration on March 27. 

The bill was composed of approximately $12 billion and ELAC received $10.7 million for emergency relief funds. 

This disbursement went out to students who are or could be eligible for Title IV or financial aid.

The primary source of income for most households has been lost at the moment and people are trying to find something to rely on. 

Although the refund for ELAC students was only $300 dollars, people may wonder how that amount of money could benefit anyone in the long run of this pandemic, but it could be used to complete rent or essentials for the children.

People must eat and prices of food are ironically only increasing. Therefore, money is tight at the time. 

This money has helped me provide for food at home. My father who is the main source of income has lost his job at the moment and I can see his stress. 

He stresses because he feels as if he can not provide enough for everyone. 

Luckily, other schools have also refunded their students. 

My sister, who attends Cal State LA, was refunded a larger amount of money, she paid her rent with money from the refund. 

She is also currently the only person working at my home, which I know is tough for her because she is also attending school online. 

These refunds have solved some of our minimal problems as of now, but I cannot imagine what it is like for others.

There are students that are parents and have children to provide for. 

Once again, quarantine has drastically changed many people’s income status and I cannot speak on the behalf of student parents, but considering that they are the main source for their family’s well-being they may need more than $300 dollars to survive. 

Kandee Soza, a student at ELAC, said that the money was a safety net for her because if her family is ever in need she can contribute with extra cash. “It was a helpful boost because work is kind of scarce and not [enough] money is coming in,” Soza said.

These are desperate times and grasping from help that is available is what everyone is doing to survive, especially college students. 

College students still have an education to worry about because that is not being put on hold.

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