The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding for emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.
Mountainland Technical College has received a total of $4,004,526.00 in relief funding from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Grants for Postsecondary Education CARES (HEERF I), CRRSAAA (HEERRF II), and ARP (HEERF III) programs. Of the grant funds received, $2,002,263.00 have been proportioned to award to students and the remainder is allocated for other institutional needs.
The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding for emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet. Students cannot apply for assistance directly from the U.S. Department of Education but should contact MTECH for further information and guidance. MTECH has the responsibility of determining how grants will be distributed to students, how the amount of each student grant is calculated, and the development of any instructions or directions that are provided to students about the grant.
According to Section 484 of the Higher Education Act states that Title IV eligible students must meet the above requirements.
To be eligible for funding consideration, you must have completed the 2019-20 or the 2020-21 FAFSA, and be eligible to receive aid by the standards listed above. For the FAFSA application please go to www.fafsa.ed.gov
The only statutory requirement is that the funds be used to cover 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 CARES Act allocated nearly $14 billion to support colleges and universities around the country. MTECH will receive $609,482.00. The Department of Education guidelines require at least 50% of received funds be used to provide emergency cash grants for students. After confirming the Title IV eligibility requirements, the institution retains discretion over which students will receive HEERF-student share funds. According to the certification agreement, institutions are required to comply with “all applicable laws including non-discrimination laws” when determining who will receive the emergency grants. Beyond that stipulation, there are no further prohibitions of specific students in the certification agreement. Therefore, any Title IV-eligible student may receive HEERF-student share funds, unless prohibited by another law.
Please refer to the following website for UPDATED Guidance for interruptions of study related to COVID-19. https://ifap.ed.gov/electronic-announcements/051520UPDATEDGuidanceInterruptStudyRelCOVID19May2020
UPDATED Guidance Interrupt Study Rel COVID 19 May 2020
The funding opportunity number is ED-GRANTS-041020-003. If you have questions concerning this program, please submit them via e-mail to HEERF@ed.gov., or by phone, at 202-377-3711.
PROCESS FOR DETERMINING HOW TO ALLOCATE HEERF (Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds) for Students under THE CARES ACT Provisions
Several populations of students, in the following order, were established in order to present them the opportunity to apply for HEERF funds, these population groups are as follows:
ACTIVELY ENROLLED: All students who were actively enrolled in programs as a regular1 student on March 13, 2020.
ACTIVELY REGISTERED: All students who were officially registered2 to begin a program starting date of March 16, 2020.
ACTIVELY ENROLLED HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: All high school students pending current academic year graduation, who were actively enrolled in programs that required them to Re-Register3 to continue towards achieving certification for the group of courses in a certificate program of study.
ACTIVELY PURSUING ENROLLMENT: Any prospective student whose program required4 an application process and approval prior to registration, and an application submission for the Fall section between May 15 – June 30; Any prospective student who had begun working with a third party sponsor and had received approval to register for a Spring, Summer, or Fall start date.
APPLICATION QUESTIONS: A defined application process, including questions to determine a student’s federal eligibility, student’s need vs. expenses with a clear application processing timeframe and maximum award amount is provided on the College’s established Scholarship Universe program site.
CONSIDERATIONS WEIGHED: With regard to Expense vs. Need: HEERF student share dollars are to aid students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus; this is different than a change in a student’s financial need due to COVID-19, which could be a result of a loss of income rather than new expenses. And, although in its HEERF FAQ document, ED5 states the following: “The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the [Higher Education Act (HEA)] include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.” Beyond this guidance, a school will need to make its own decisions on how to document if a student is or could be Title IV-eligible when awarding HEERF grants to students. While ED’s guidance does not require a FAFSA, having one on file would be the only practicable way for an institution to determine that a student is eligible to participate in the Title IV programs and meet all of applicable student eligibility requirements. International and Undocumented Students: ED’s April 21 guidance states that students must meet Title IV eligibility requirements in order to receive HEERF-student share funds. Therefore, international and undocumented students are not eligible to receive emergency grants.
1 A regular student is a person who enrolls for the purpose of obtaining a degree or a certificate in an eligible program offered by the school from which they are seeking assistance. The student must have been admitted by the College through the regular admissions process.
2 MTECH registration steps completed and student’s schedule was established or in the process of being established for a program starting date.
3 Tuition after graduation If a high school student continues at MTECH after their high school class graduation (whether or not the student graduated), tuition will be charged for any hours of coursework remaining. As graduation approaches, students with remaining hours to complete will be given a balance of tuition due that they must pay in order to remain in the program and complete their certificate.
4 Registration Availability: This program requires an application process and approval prior to registration. You must submit your application for the Fall section between May 15 – June 30.
5 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (ED)