Publication Title

Historical Methods 2020

Publication Date


Document Type

Visual Works


Whittier College, like many other Colleges and Universities, received federal funding through the CARES Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. Part of the CARES Act included the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The bill provided $2.2 trillion in aid to Americans, $14 billion of which was given to postsecondary schools.

The document displayed is the application for the Emergency Relief Grant, sent out to the students of Whittier College. The application inquired about the reasons for applying for the grant and how much the applicant spent on food, rent, travel, healthcare, child care, course materials/ equipment, at-home learning resources, and other expenses. Students, in addition, were asked to upload supporting documentation of their expenses. The most students could receive in the first round of grant aid was $575.

To apply, students had to meet the eligibility requirements: enrolled in at least one face-to-face course during the 2020 Spring semester, completed a FAFSA application for 2019-2020 or 2020-2021, or met the Title IV eligibility requirements. To meet the Title IV requirements, you must be a U.S citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid social security number, registration with Selective Service if you are a male, and have a High School diploma, GED, or completed high school in an approved homeschool setting.

However, DACA students were not eligible to apply for the grant. Similarly, welfare policies during the Great Depression (1929-1933) favored “native-born” citizens and often excluded foreign residents. In addition, these policies allowed for children born in the U.S to immigrant parents, to become naturalized citizens and ultimately obtain work and relief aid. Relating back to the CARES Act, students of immigrant parents or students of low SES rely on grants like these to help their families out financially because they do not qualify for aid themselves. Historically, welfare policies have always come with a list of eligibility requirements in order to apply, leaving some groups without aid. To exclude students because of their citizenship status makes it harder to access institutions of higher education and help out their families that rely on them.

“CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.” Home. US Department of Education (ED), October 20, 2020.

“CARES Act Student Emergency Relief Grants.” Whittier College. Accessed October 22, 2020.

Enciso, Fernando Saúl Alanís, Russ Davidson, and Mark Overmyer-Velázquez. "The Mexican Community in the United States, 1933–1939." In They Should Stay There: The Story of Mexican Migration and Repatriation during the Great Depression, 30-50. CHAPEL HILL: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. Accessed October 21, 2020.