Department of Education Reporting Requirement
The Department of Education issued guidance on May 6, 2020 related to the reporting requirement for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) participants. Pursuant to that requirement, HEERF recipient must make public the following information:
Hood College signed and returned a Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education on May 13, 2020 stating that no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act will provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Hood College received $632,642 (50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1)) from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
As of July 15, 2020 a total of $623,673 Emergency Financial Aid Grants has been distributed to 929 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
Currently 929 students have received Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
There are 1,098 Hood College students who are 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.
METHOD USED TO DETERMINE STUDENTS ELIGIBILITY
Per CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants guidelines, Hood College distributed $556,750 in funding directly to students who incurred costs due to the coronavirus and the subsequent suspension of on-campus operations. Such costs included food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care. The method used to determine which students would receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and the amount included the following considerations: (1) only including students who have filed a FAFSA ensures that they are Title IV eligible; (2) Pell-eligible students have more financial need; (3) those earning a bachelor’s degree were impacted more by the campus disruption; and (4) an application process is needed for those with special conditions not captured by the formula used for the majority of the funds.
|Undergraduate Student Category||Award Per Student|
|Pell-eligible full time||$750.00|
|Non-Pell-eligible full time||$500.00|
|Pell-eligible part time||$375.00|
Additionally, an online application process was open to undergraduate and graduate students from June 1 – June 15, 2020. All students had to have filed a FAFSA in order to be eligible. The College formed a committee to make determinations. Individual awards were based on demonstrated need and were capped at $2,000. Awards totaling $58,423 were awarded to 49 students. On July 15, $8,500 were awarded to five students who demonstrated need. An additional $8,969 remains for students who demonstrate need in the 2020-21 academic year.
INSTRUCTIONS/DIRECTIONS GIVEN TO STUDENTS
The following communication has been provided to students via email:
“This week the College received funding from the Department of Education’s CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Per CARES guidelines, the funds will be distributed to all students who are eligible for federal aid (requirement of the Act) and incurred costs due to the coronavirus and the subsequent suspension of on-campus operations. To ensure the fast, efficient and compliant disbursement of these funds, the CARES Act committee created a policy for the distribution of the funds such that all students who filed a FAFSA (to ensure they are Title IV eligible) will receive a portion of the funding. Checks will be mailed to students on May 15. In addition, a portion of the funds was retained for undergraduate and graduate students not captured in the original distribution. Information on applying for these remaining funds will be sent to students in the next two weeks. These funds, like the stimulus relief funds, are tax-free.”
The following communication has been provided via USPS to students receiving grants:
“Enclosed please find your disbursement from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
These funds are being disbursed directly to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses. The IRS currently considers the CARES Act grants as “federal disaster assistance”, which excludes the funds from being taxed. Please consult with your tax advisor, though, for additional guidance.
If the COVID-19 related expenses you incurred as result of campus closure exceed this disbursement, a limited amount of additional funding is available on an application-only basis. For students who qualify for CARES Act funding, the application period will be open June 1 - 10.
*By cashing this check, I agree that I have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.”
The following information accompanied the checks disbursed after the application process:
Your application for CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund’s was received and reviewed.
Enclosed please find a check in the amount of CARES Act funds approved from your application.
If you have any questions, please contact Denise Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: July 22, 2020
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