Millions of CARES Act dollars from the federal government are going into the pocket of college students across the state.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act is helping students overcome financial barriers preventing them from continuing their education.
"If I didn't receive this money, I'd have to like take it out of pocket on my credit cards and then look to see how can I pay it because I really want to finish my degree," said Pamela Martinez, a Indian River State College student.
At IRSC, more than 6,000 students are receiving between $450 and $750.
"I'm not working right now," said Martinez. "It's hard to pay off my classes. That money helps me a lot to pay for my books and the classes."
Every student who has filled out the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid will benefit.
"This is an ability for our families and our students to replenish their income that had been depleted by attending school during COVID," said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore.
The students are notified via email.
Dr. Moore said a third round of CARES Act money for students is expected this summer.
"Sometimes when you take a class you need a book, sometimes you need to buy some programs, so it's much easier to do some assignments," said Martinez.
"What we're trying to do is alleviate a stressor from our students," said Dr. Moore. "Take one rock out of their wheel barrel they're having to move and let them go forward with the education in a way that they can keep their head up and stay focused on the prize."