Education

Bacone College to administer emergency financial aid grants

Bacone College will be among the higher education institutions nationwide receiving a combined $14 billion in federal funds as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

According to data released by the U.S. Department of Education on April 9, the Muskogee-based school will receive $509,457 in federal relief money. Under the terms of the CARES Act, at least half of that money must be awarded to students as emergency financial aid grants.

School allocations are set by a formula prescribed in the CARES Act that is weighted significantly by the number of full-time students who are eligible to receive Pell Grants but also takes into consideration the total population of the school and the number of students who were not enrolled full-time online before the coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Education is utilizing the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and Federal Student Aid for this calculation.

Bacone College and other recipient institutions will receive allocations and guidance for the institutional share of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the coming weeks. Institutions will be able to use these funds to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

In mid-March, Bacone College announced it was moving all instruction online for the rest of the spring 2020 semester. As of April 10, its commencement ceremony is still on as scheduled for May 2, but all other spring campus programming has been postponed.

The Osage Nation signed on as one of Bacone College’s charter co-sponsors in 2019. Other chartering tribes include the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. Since 2010, it has been the accreditation partner for Pawnee Nation College, one of Oklahoma’s two remaining tribal colleges. More than half of its student body self-identifies as Indigenous.