The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is a federal grant that provides relief from COVID-19. Funds can be disbursed as grants to students whose education is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Grants may be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare, or other expenses incurred this quarter. Best of all, these grants do not have to be paid back. 

In March 2021, Olympic College received $3.13 million, of which a minimum of 50 percent ($1.55 million) must be disbursed to student. The grant gives colleges broad discretion in colleges use the remaining $1.55 million. The legislation states that funds can be used to “defray expenses for institutions of higher education,” which can include supplementing lost revenue and technology costs associated with a transition to distance education.

Under the legislation, Olympic College is required to publicly post on its website, reports of how the funds were disbursed.