CARES Act Funds for Students
Updated July 28, 2020
Chattahoochee Valley Community College has established an emergency financial aid grant to assist students through federal funds provided under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. The CARES Act, which establishes and provides funding for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), has enabled institutions of higher education to use allocated funds to provide direct assistance to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. CVCC has been allocated $822,858 that will all be disbursed directly to eligible students.
Certification and Agreement. Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance on April 16, 2020 that the institution has used, or intends, to use, no less that 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Funds Received. CVCC received $822,858 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
Funds Distributed. The College will distribute 100 percent of the Emergency Financial Aid Grant funds to eligible students by July 1, 2020. $628,000 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants were distributed by CVCC to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 15, 2020. Each student received an initial award of $800. Any remaining funds will be disbursed in an equal amount to each eligible student by July 1, 2020.
Distribution of Funds Update: CVCC issued its final distribution of CARES Act funds to students on June 19, 2020. 797 students received awards with a total final disbursement being $194,058.
Eligible Participants. CVCC estimated that 785 students were 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.
Eligible Participant Update: A second review of the student records was conducted to ensure that all possible students had been identified to receive funds. The second review showed that an additional 12 students were eligible. In summary, the total number of eligible students is 797.
Students Receiving Funds. 785 students received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 15, 2020.
Students Receiving Funds Update: A total of 797 received CARES Act funds from the College, totaling 822,858 and funds were distributed as follows:
- 794 students received a total of $1,032.44 ($819757.36).
- 2 students received a total of $1034.12 ($2,068.24). These students were carrying 20 credit hours and the College awarded them the residual funds to zero out the account.
- 1 student received $1032.40.
Method for Determining Eligible Students and Amount of Award. CVCC used a comprehensive method for determining which students would be eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants by reviewing the files of all students at the College enrolled as of March 16, 2020. The College’s goal was to award funds to as many students as possible and considered an even distribution to eligible students as the best plan of action. The initial award was determined to be $800 per student, with a final award to be disbursed from remaining funds as noted in the Final Disbursement section of this document. Upon review the College determined that awards would be disbursed to approximately 785 students in two tiers:
Tier 1 – Awards were given to all eligible students who received Title IV financial aid for the spring semester who were enrolled in at least one face-to-face class on March 16, 2020, when the College converted its instruction to online (Exceptions apply). In this Tier approximately 595 students were awarded funds (beginning May 11, 2020).
Tier 2 (Approximately 300 students) – Awards were given to 190 eligible students with a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file but who were not awarded Title IV financial aid at the College. Tier 2 students who were enrolled at the College on March 16, 2020 in at least one face-to-face class were considered for funds. These students’ files were reviewed by the financial aid department to determine if they met requirements to participate in Title IV programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act as amended. It was not a requirement that Tier 2 students be eligible for Pell Grant but they had to meet all Title IV requirements noted by the Department of Education. Section 484 of the HEA states that Title IV eligible students must:
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.
- Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school.
- For currently enrolled students, be making satisfactory academic progress.
- Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans.
- Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
- File “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes
- A statement of educational purpose.
- Student’s SSN.
- Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen.
- Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges.
- Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
- Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
- Have Selective Service registration verified.
- Have Social Security Number verified.
- Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
Tier 2 students were awarded upon completion of verification by the financial aid office beginning Friday, May 15, 2020.
- Dual Enrollment students were excluded from eligibility they do not meet the Title IV eligibility requirement of not being enrolled in elementary or secondary education.
- International and undocumented students were excluded they are not eligible to participate in Title IV programs under Section 484 of the HEA Act as amended.
- Students taking courses exclusively online or exclusively through a hybrid format were also
Final Disbursement: If funds are remaining after Tier 1 and Tier 2 students have been awarded, those remaining funds will be disbursed to all eligible students by taking the total remaining funds and dividing by the number of eligible students. It is the plan of the College that all CARES Act Funds for Students will be disbursed by July 1, 2020.
Final Disbursement Update: The final disbursement was release to students on June 19, 2020 and all funds received ($822,858) have been expended.
Guidance Provided to Students Regarding Emergency Financial Aid Grants. An email from CVCC President, Jackie Screws, was sent to all students providing guidance regarding the CARES Act funds for Students, informing them of the availability of the funds and how the funds would be disbursed. Information was also posted on the CVCC Website.