The CARES Act allocated about $33 billion to the U.S. Department of Education, roughly $14 billion of which has been allocated to institutions of higher education. Of this amount, 90% has been allocated to the “Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund” (HEERF). The CARES Act states that schools receiving these funds shall use no less than 50 percent of the funds allocated to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for 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). The College signed and returned to the Department of Education our intent to use the funds for this purpose.
The College received its allocation of the student portion of the HEERF which totals $661,177 on Monday, May 4th. In order for a student to be eligible to receive a distribution from these funds, they must have completed the Spring 2020 academic semester, and they must be eligible to participate in programs under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The financial aid office has determined eligibility and 755 students are eligible to receive these funds. If a student qualified to receive Federal Pell Grants then the amount he/she shall receive is $1,085. Eligible students who do not qualify for Federal Pell Grants will receive $542.50. Total disbursements to students for emergency grants totaled $661,307.50. That amount is $130.50 higher than the student allocation. The College used the 50 percent of funds allocated to the institution to offset that overage. Those checks have already been distributed by the business office. Please note that these funds are not taxable to the recipient and will not need to be considered as income for tax year 2020.