Students, college benefit from pandemic funds

By Juan Calvillo

A breakdown of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund monies, during a post pandemic forum on Thursday, showed how funds have aided both students and the college. 

HEERF money is broken up into two different amounts and are based on allocations from the Los Angeles Community College District. Institutional money is handled by the college administration, while student money is handled by Student Services.

The HEERF money was allotted by the Education Stabilization Fund through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. 

East Los Angeles College has collected over $80 million dollars over the three disbursements of the HEERF fund. This includes both institutional and student money.

The student funds have helped 68,420 students since the beginning of the pandemic. Institutional funds close to $4 million remain from monies the college collected from the HEERF. 

Michael Pascual, vice president of Administrative Services, said college administration has plans to use the funds to enhance the college WiFi system.

For institutional use, ELAC has received over $43 million from the last three HEERF disbursements. The money the college has received for institutional use is broken up into different expenditures. 

This money has been used since COVID-19 forced the college to change teaching methods in the middle of the 2020 Spring semester. Pascual said there are six big categories when it comes to institutional funds.

Health and Safety

Lost Revenue



Technology and Software

Training and Professional Development

The pie chart pictured shows a percentage breakdown for the categories. 

Pascual said these categories are the biggest expenses. 

The biggest expense is allocated for lost revenue coming in at $16 million. Pascual said this revenue stream comes from the losses from book store sales, parking fees and child development loss revenues. 

Pascual said some institutional funds were moved to student funds to help students.

“The institutional portion mandate allows us to do that. We transferred, what we classified stipend, some of the HEERF money in the institutional fund to the student portion,” Pascual said.

Miguel Duenas, vice president of Student Services, said many students were helped over the three HEERF fund disbursements for student aid. 

The three allocations of funds totalled $42,606,708 of funds for student help. This was done over the 2020 to 2023 time frames.

“Students were supported during this time frame with HEERF expenditure funding for students. This is a great asset and resource for our students here,” Duenas said.

HEERF institutional money was used for a variety of things around campus. This includes student hotspots, laptops and softwares and licenses. 

It also includes hand sanitizer stations, High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning filters, duct cleanings and the plexiglass barriers in many student servicing areas. 

ELAC President Alberto Román said The college will follow Governor Gavin Newsom’s end of pandemic response on February 28. 

Marcellino Morales, chair of the Pandemic Committee, said the college is prepared for any changes when it comes to a need for a new response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The college is mindful of the need to be flexible. We continue to look at the rates of COVID and its variants. The district and college are vigilant of the latest County, State and Federal guidelines and policies for COVID response,” Morales said.

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