The US Department of Education recognizes the disruptions and hardships that have been created due to the changes made in education to protect students against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. In response they have created a CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant fund. These funds were given to colleges to disburse to current students to be used for costs related to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
Who is eligible for the CARES Funding?
Based on criteria set forth by the U.S. Department of Education and Minnesota State, students that were enrolled in at least one ground-based course as of the Friday prior to spring break (March 6, 2020) are eligible. In addition, eligible students must have filed a FAFSA, or be eligible to file a FAFSA.
Who is ineligible for the CARES funding?
Using the U.S. Department of Education and Minnesota State guidelines, students excluded from receiving CARES funding are the following:
- student whose classes were completely on-line as of March 6, 2020,
- students who withdrew and not enrolled as of March 6, 2020,
- PSEO and concurrent enrollment students,
- students paying the Senior Citizen rate,
- international students, or
- employees whose tuition is covered by tuition waiver.
How much will eligible students receive?
All qualifying students will receive a $300 CARES Base award, and all qualifying Pell eligible students will receive an additional $600 CARES Supplemental Award. The funds were initially disbursed on 05-05-2020 to students as either a mailed paper check or through direct deposit depending on the student’s preference in their eservices account.
Additional funds have been set aside to award to qualifying students on a case by case basis. Students that have experience extenuating circumstances due the disruption of school due to Covid-19 should contact an advisor/counselor or the financial aid office to request an application for these additional funds. Applications will be reviewed by a committee and students will be notified of the outcome in a timely manner.
Within the Northeast Higher Education District (NHED), which is made up of 5 colleges, an estimated 2114 students are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 during the Spring 2020 semester and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
As of the dates below, the following funds have been disbursed by NHED 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).
- May 5, 2020: 2,110 students have received a total of $1,284,000
- July 9, 2020: 2,110 students have received a total of $1,314,300
- September 30, 2020: 2,114 students have received a total of $1,325,627
Instructions, directions, or guidance have been provided by the institutions to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants on the Colleges Official web site under Coronavirus (COVID-19) and via e-mail to the student’s preferred e-mail address. A copy of the email sent to students can be viewed here.