Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”), Pub. L. No. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020), directs institutions receiving funds under Section 18004 of the Act to submit (in a time and manner required by the Secretary) a report to the Secretary describing the use of funds distributed from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”). Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act 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 Certification and Agreement directs each institution applying for HEERF funds to comply with Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act and submit an initial report (the “30-day Fund Report”) to the Secretary thirty (30) days from the date of the institution’s Certification and Agreement to the Department. Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:
What is the CARES Act?
The CARES Act is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. The CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). One part of this federal program has allocated money to UCSC, with the allocation amount primarily determined by the number of enrolled Pell eligible students. At least 50% of that allocation is required to be awarded to students who may be experiencing additional financial expenses due to Coronavirus COVID-19: this is explicitly defined as emergency funding for eligible students.
How much funding did Tri-County receive?
Tri-County has received $30,810 for emergency grants to eligible students.
Who can qualify for CARES Act funding?
Students who have financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the student demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA.
Students with identified financial need were awarded CARES Act funding. The number of eligible students as determined by a previously submitted and verified 2019-2020 FAFSA for students enrolled in the programs at the time of the school closure.
What kinds of expenses should the CARES grant payment be used to cover?
The CARES grant is intended for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).
How much will I qualify for?
Students eligible for federal financial aid during the academic year will receive a base award of $609. Additional funding will be provided to Pell Grant eligible students with awards of $404 in addition to the base award.
Do I need to apply?
No additional application is required, eligible students will be awarded based upon previously filed FAFSA Applications.
Does the CARES Act grant money need to be repaid?
No, money received through this fund does not need to be repaid. If you received a CARE Grant, the funds are intended to assist you with any expenses you have incurred (or will incur) related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Please note that these expenses include, but are not necessarily limited to, those for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. You may be asked to provide substantiation that such expenses were (1) related to coronavirus-caused campus disruption, and (2) actually incurred and paid by you, and you should be prepared to provide such substantiation if ever requested.
Would this funding reduce my current financial aid awards?
No, this fund will not reduce or replace financial aid, and grant funding will only be for the 2019-2020 school year.
Is the CARES Act grant money taxable?
The following information regarding the taxability of the CARES Act grant funds was provided on May 6, 2020 by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of their FAQs on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act.
Section 18004 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary of Education to allocate funds out of the Higher Education Relief Fund to higher education institutions to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures. These funds may be used (1) to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and (2) for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).” Recipient higher education institutions must pay no less than 50 percent of these funds