Cares Act Student Aid

What is the CARES Act Emergency Grant Aid for Students?

On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law.  The CARES Act contains provision for a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).  Institutions of higher education that receive HEERF funds agree to use at least 50% of their allocation to “provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.”  Camp Community College’s total allocation of HEERF funding is $512,617.  Of that, Camp has certified to the US Department of Education that it will use $256,309 (50%) for “the sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.”   

Information for students, posted on the US Department of Education CARES Act website states:

The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet. Students cannot apply for assistance directly from the U.S. Department of Education but should contact their institutions for further information and guidance. Institutions have the responsibility of determining how grants will be distributed to students, how the amount of each student grant is calculated, and the development of any instructions or directions that are provided to students about the grant. (Source US Department of Education, For more information visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html)

Disclosure

1. Patrick Henry Community College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and intends to use 100 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $741,862.

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter) is $413,167.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 894.

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 726.

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is the college has queried the Student Information System (SIS) to determine student eligibility by having a FAFSA on file. For those who did not complete a FAFSA, they will be required to complete a FAFSA and eligibility for financial aid will be manually determined.

 7. The following instructions, directions, or guidance were provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants:

We are writing today to let you know that, as a student eligible under federal guidelines, you will be receiving a relief grant funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If you complete six or more credits in summer, you will receive an additional grant. If you complete six or more credits in the fall semester, you will also receive an additional grant.

The (CARES) Act provides several different methods for distributing roughly $14 billion in funds to institutions of higher education. Of the amount allocated to each institution, at least 50 percent, (the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund “HEERF”) must be reserved to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Patrick Henry Community College received $741,862 for this fund. The only statutory requirement is that the funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).

 

 Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive a grant?

Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. We are distributing funds in accordance with guidance from the United State Department of Education to students who meet the following criteria:

        Enrolled during Spring 2020 term as of March 13, 2020

        Enrolled half-time or greater (6 or more credits – irrespective of FACA)

       Eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid (valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file, eligible to file a FAFSA, meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, resolved all requirements with the financial aid office).

 

Who is not eligible to receive a grant?

The following students are not eligible to receive a grant award:

  • Dual Enrollment students
  • Students taking all online courses as of March 13, 2020.
  • >DACA or ineligible for Title IV aid
  • Third-party payers such as employers

 

When will the grants be distributed?

 Sixty-five percent (65%) or $508,210 of the total student aid funding will be paid to eligible students enrolled during spring semester. Ten percent (10%) or $78,186 of the total student aid funding will be paid to eligible students who complete six or more credits online in the summer semester.  The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) or $195,466 will be paid to eligible students who complete six or more credits online or in-person in the fall semester.

 

How will the college determine who is eligible to receive a grant award?

The college has queried the Student Information System (SIS) to determine student eligibility by having a FAFSA on file. For those who did not complete a FAFSA, they will be required to complete a FAFSA and eligibility for financial aid will be manually determined.

 

How many students are eligible for financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965?

Approximately 883 Students will be eligible. Eligibility of those who do not have a FAFSA on file is ongoing.

 

How much will I receive?

Spring semester students will receive approximately $569.10, depending upon the final number of eligible students. The amounts received for summer and fall semesters will depend upon how many eligible students complete at least twelve credits in those semesters.

 

How will I receive my grant?

Nelnet/TMS is processing the payments. They will be processed in the same manner as other student refunds. There are currently two refund methods: 1) ACH direct deposit for students who have bank accounts setup to receive them or 2) paper checks will be sent to the rest.

 

Is this grant includable in my gross income for tax purposes?

No. This grant is not includible in your gross income. Also, because the emergency financial aid grant is not includible in your gross income, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. For more information, see: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-higher-education-emergency-relief-fund-and-emergency-financial-aid-grants-under-the-cares-act.

 

Who do I contact for more information?

Email . When emailing, remember to include your student ID.