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Qualifying WDT Students to Receive CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds

Western Dakota Tech (WDT) has launched the WDT Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF), an emergency aid program for students who might be experiencing difficulties with expenses related to COVID-19 campus disruptions.

There are 602 qualifying WDT students, at this time, who will be mailed a $650 emergency check Friday, May 15, according to Jill Elder, WDT Admissions and Financial Aid Director.

The CARES funds will assist students experiencing financial hardships with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, including (not a complete list):
  • Assistance with the purchase of food.
  • Needs related to housing/rent/utilities.
  • The purchase of course materials.
  • Technology-related needs.
  • Assistance with health care and/or childcare expenses.
Elder said students eligible to receive the grant funds must meet all the following criteria:
  • Currently enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester in a certificate, diploma or degree program eligible for Federal Financial Aid.
  • Currently in good academic standing and maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
  • Student who has been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and has an emergency need.
  • Student is a U.S. citizen or meets the definition of an eligible non-citizen based on federal financial aid requirements.
“The funds must be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that have impacted your educational experience,” Elder said.

WDT has received $431,940, under the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), to provide the emergency grants to students.
While the 602 students will be receiving a check for $650 soon, WDT qualifying students can apply for additional CARES Grant Funds above the $650; funds are limited and are first-come, first-serve. To apply, and/or for more information, WDT students can refer to the college’s CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Funds website page at

Elder said the CARES grant funds are not required to be repaid and will not affect a student’s Financial Aid loan eligibility for future semesters.

About Western Dakota Tech

Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college serving the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

More than 98 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military. [Placement information is derived from graduate surveys, faculty-collected data, placement surveys started six months after graduation, and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. Overall placement rate is figured by: (responding graduates employed, continuing education, or in military service)/(responding graduates who are seeking employment). The number of program graduates are unduplicated by CIP code.]

Western Dakota Tech faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

For information about Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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