Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Posted April 21, 2020 Announcement to all Post-Secondary Colleges Secretary DeVos Delivers $6 Billion in Additional Grant Funding to Support Continued Education at America’s Colleges, Universities

WASHINGTON — After quickly making available more than $6 billion for colleges and universities to provide direct emergency cash grants to students, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today an additional $6.2 billion is now available to higher education institutions to ensure learning continues. The funding is available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump less than one month ago.

“This pandemic has made clear every single education institution should make important investments to ensure learning continues when unexpected circumstances arise,” said Secretary DeVos. “Accordingly, the additional funds made available today can be used to expand remote learning programs, build IT capacity, and train faculty and staff to operate in a remote learning environment so that at any moment institutions can pivot quickly. I hope that institutions that already have robust remote learning capacity will consider using this funding to support additional emergency cash grants for students.”

The CARES Act allows institutions to use up to one half of the total funds received to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. The funding for these “Recipient Institutional Costs” is separate from the funding previously made available for “Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.” In order to access the funds, higher education institutions must submit a Certification and Agreement for Recipient Institutional Costs, which can be found here. Institutions must also have executed the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students before
submitting the second certification and agreement. So far, about 50% of eligible postsecondary institutions have applied to receive the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

School allocations are set by a formula prescribed in the CARES Act, which is weighted significantly by the number of full-time students who are Pell-eligible 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 is utilizing the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and Federal Student Aid (FSA) for this calculation.

The funding allocations announced today are part of the nearly $31 billion Congress allocated to the Department to distribute to students, K-12 schools, and higher education institutions under the CARES Act. The Department, at the Secretary's urging, is working to make funds available as quickly as possible.

The Department has taken quick action to support higher education students from the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Colleges and universities were given immediate regulatory flexibility so students' educations could continue online. Under the leadership of President Trump, the Department also provided student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers by setting all federally held student loan interest rates to zero percent and allowing borrowers to defer payments for 60 days without interest. The CARES Act
extends those benefits to six months. The Department also stopped all federal wage garnishments and collections actions for borrowers with federally held loans in default. And, within 13 days of President Trump signing the CARES Act into law, the Department made $6.2 billion available for emergency cash grants for higher education students. The Department has also disbursed $7 million to Gallaudet University and $13 million to Howard University in accordance with the CARES Act, which allocated this funding to help these unique institutions address the challenges associated with coronavirus.

Danville Area Community College CARES Act, HEERF I Information

Students are required by Federal regulation to be Title IV eligible and meet all requirements pertaining to Title IV eligibility. This eligibility information is provided when a student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Process:

The DACC HEERF Team met and discussed strategies to award the funds in accordance with guidance and regulations from the U.S. Department of Education.

Only students who were enrolled in eligible Title IV programs for spring 2020 term and who had completed a 2019/20 FAFSA with results on file at DACC by April 30, 2020 were reviewed for eligibility. In addition to Title IV eligibility the student must not have been enrolled in online classes only prior to March 13, 2020. It was determined that 1250 students were enrolled in eligible Title IV programs in Spring 2020 term and of those 816 students had completed the 2019/20 FAFSA and met the HEERF grant criteria.

The sum of $471,037.00 (total federal funds received) was awarded to 814 Title IV eligible students. The amount awarded depended on enrolled credit hours based on full-time, three-quarter time, half-time and less-than half-time enrollment status. Checks were mailed to the student’s address on record May 4, 2020. Enclosed with the check was an explanation of the funds, a sample of this notice is included with the summary that follows.

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund SUMMARY GRID of AWARDING of $471,037.00 Federal Grant Total

Of the Eligible Title IV recipients:
Full - time Plus > 15 credit hours 197 X $700 = $137,900
Full - time 328 X $650 = $213,200
Quarter - time 126 X $550 = $69,300
Half - time 104 X $400 = $41,600
Less - than - half - time 59 X $175 = $10,325
Total awarded  = $472,325 814 Headcount
     
International Students (from College funds):
Full - time 12 - 14 credit hours 5 X $650 = $3250 5 Headcount

All funds received by the College from the CARES act ($471,037.00) have been distributed to eligible Title IV students. Included in refunds to students, the College funded awards for an additional $4538 which included $3250 to the International students.

Sample of Notices Sent to Recipients

Notice Sent to Students (via email and letter enclosed with check)

Email (sent prior to check distribution): During these unprecedented and challenging times, DACC is pleased to extend emergency cash funds to you through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Based on the Department of Education’s most recent guidelines, DACC has developed a system to identify students who demonstrate significant need and who meet the predetermined eligibility requirements.

You have been identified as an eligible student. The College will base the funding level on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in for the Spring 2020 term. The funds are to be used to cover expenses that you might have due to attending college during the COVID-19 crisis such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and/or general semester expenses.

The College will mail the funds to the address you have on file in the next 10 business days. If your address has changed, please contact the Admissions/Registration office at 217-443-8800 or admissions@dacc.edu immediately.

Please know that we are here to serve you during these trying times. We know you can do this!

Sincerely,

Danville Area Community College

Letter Title IV Eligible (enclosed with check):

Dear Student,

During these unprecedented and challenging times, DACC is pleased to extend emergency cash funds to you through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Based on the Department of Education’s most recent guidelines, DACC has developed a system to identify students who demonstrate significant need and who meet the predetermined eligibility requirements.

You have been identified as an eligible student. The College has based the funding level on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in for the Spring 2020 term. The funds are to be used to cover expenses that you might have due to attending college during the COVID-19 crisis such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and/or general semester expenses.

Enclosed is your check. We do not need a response from you but please cash this check in a timely manner. We do not need receipts as to what you have done with these funds. We do hope they are of some relief in these uncertain times.

Please know that we are here to serve you during these trying times. We know you can do this!

Sincerely,

Danville Area Community College

Letter International Student:

Dear Student,

During these unprecedented and challenging times, DACC is pleased to extend emergency cash funds

You have been identified as an eligible International student. The College has based the funding level on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in for the Spring 2020 term. The funds are to be used to cover expenses that you might have due to attending college during the COVID-19 crisis such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and/or general semester expenses.

Enclosed is your check. We do not need a response from you but please cash this check in a timely manner. We do not need receipts as to what you have done with these funds. We do hope they are of some relief in these uncertain times.

Please know that we are here to serve you during these trying times. We know you can do this!

Sincerely,

Danville Area Community College