The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal economic relief package signed into law on March 27, 2020 to provide economic assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This law reserved about $14 billion for higher education Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), is to be split between emergency grants for students and moneys for schools’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) emergency grants include funds that will be disbursed to students as relief for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations caused by the COVID -19 pandemic. Expenses may include items such as tuition/books, technology, food, housing, healthcare, childcare, etc. This is an emergency grant and not a loan. Funds do not have to be repaid.
CARES Funding Disbursed to Date
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HEERF1 Fast Facts
- The U.S. Department of Education allocated funds to colleges based on full-time enrollment and total number of students eligible for the Pell Grant. Columbia College was allocated $994,576. The Certification and Agreement was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. This agreement assures that $500,000 will go directly to students as CARES grants.
- Columbia estimates that about 998 students are eligible under the Title IV eligibility for the Spring 2020 semester. Second round of CARES disbursements are for those students who completed the 2020-2021 FAFSA. Student who were Title IV eligible and enrolled in Fall 2020 OR Spring 2021 semesters, received a $1000 disbursement.
More Information on the Cares Act:
CARES Act Funding Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Who is eligible for consideration for funding under this program?
For the HEERF1 funding student must:
- Be enrolled in Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and/or Summer 2021 courses.
- Have a completed the 2020-2021 FAFSA and is on file with the Columbia College Financial Aid department.
- Be enrolled in an Associate Degree, Certificate, or Transfer Degree program at Columbia College
- Meet Financial Aid SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) standards
- Be otherwise eligible under Title IV (US citizen/eligible nonresident, high school graduate, SSS verification)
The U.S. Department of Education excludes international students, undocumented students/Dreamers, non-matriculated students, non-credit students, or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.
For the HEERF2 funding students must:
- Have completed a 2021-2022 FAFSA OR Dream Act application
- Be enrolled in at least 3 units
2. Do I need to apply to receive the HEERF emergency grant?
The only application required is the 2021-2022 FAFSA OR Dream Act application.
3. How do I apply for this funding?
Students must have a completed a 2021-2022 FAFSA OR Dream Act application. No additional application required.
4. How much will I receive?
Funds are limited. Amounts will be determined based on the number of applications received and the specific needs presented in the application. Columbia College cannot guarantee that all students will receive funding.
7. How do students receive the money?
Students will receive funds via their BankMobile account.
8. What if I owe a balance to Columbia College for tuition or other fees?
Columbia College will not hold any funds to pay any outstanding balance. These funds will go directly to students.
9. Who can I contact, if I have questions regarding the CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grant?
If you have any questions or concerns, please email Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org