CARES Information CARES Information

CARES Act Funding

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.

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. This is an emergency grant and not a loan. Funds do not have to be repaid.

CARES Funding Disbursed to Date

Spring 2020 Disbursements

  • June 19th, 2020 paid 125 students a total of $46,875
  • July 3rd, 2020 paid 11 students a total of $4,125
  • July 17th, 2020 paid 12 students a total of $4,500
  • July 24th, 2020 paid 6 students a total of $2,250
  • Aug 14th, 2020 paid 24 students a total of $9,000
  • Aug 28th, 2020 paid 25 students a total of $9,375
  • Sept 18th, 2020 paid 9 students a total of $3,375

Fall 2020 Disbursements

  • Dec 11th, 2020 paid 142 students a total of $145,000
  • Dec 19th, 2020 paid 1 student a total of $1000

In Spring 2020, each student received $375 to use towards a COVID-19 related hardship. In Fall 2020, students who were enrolled in both Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters, received a second disbursement of $1000. We are still issuing payments for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.

Students, it is still not too late to apply! Please visit your EDS account to complete the 20A eligibility form, make sure to select the academic year 2020-21. Please contact your Financial Aid technician for assistance. Students with last names A-L or last names M-Z

CARES Act Fast Facts

  • Columbia received funds in the amount of $500,000 to be awarded directly to students for COVID relief.
  • 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 and/or Spring 2021 semesters, received a $1000 disbursement.

More Information on the Cares Act: 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT)

U.S. Department of Education Frequently Asked Questions 

Columbia College CARES Information for Reporting

CARES Allocation

CARES Certification

Quarterly Reporting 6/30/2020

Quarterly Reporting 9/30/2020

Quarterly Reporting 12/30/2020

Quarterly Reporting 3/31/2021

CARES Act Funding Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. Who is eligible for consideration for funding under this program?

  Eligibility Criteria is as follows:

  • Be enrolled in Fall 2020 and/or Spring 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.

2. Do I need to apply to receive the CARES emergency grant?

Yes, Columbia College will be using an online application process. All eligible students will receive an email requesting they complete the online application via the Student Financial Services Electronic Data Submission (EDS) portal.

3. How do I apply for this funding?

Students must have a completed a current 2020-2021 FAFSA. In addition, students will receive an email notification to access the online application. Make sure to check your student assigned email account.

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 does not guarantee that all students will receive funding.

6. What expenses can I use the CARES Act funding to help with?

Students may use these funds for the following expenses if they occurred during the transition from on campus classes to remote learning.

  • Tuition, Books, Course materials
  • Food
  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Technology-related expenses

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


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