Rock Valley College

CARES Act

Emergency Grants for Students
 

The CARES Act application deadline has passed. Please contact Stacey Kolder in Financial Aid with any questions or concerns.

 

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes the one-time Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for higher education institutions to help address the immediate and urgent impacts on our students and colleges.

Funding is intended to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to Covid-19. All awards must adhere to federal statutory and regulatory requirements.

Under the federal CARES Act signed on March 27, 2020, colleges were provided funds to award cash grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of their education due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to housing, food, technology, course materials, healthcare, and childcare.

The following are the required CARES Act disclosures:

1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  • Rock Valley College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students on April 21, 2020. The college intends to use at least 50 percent of the total CARES Act funds received to fund emergency financial aid grants to students.

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

  • Rock Valley College received $1,645,203 for emergency financial aid grants to eligible students. 

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed 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).

  • Rock Valley College has distributed $1,238,850 to students as of July 15, 2020.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  • As of July 15, 2020, the estimated total number of students at Rock Valley College eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act was 1,968.

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  • As of July 15, 2020, the total number of students who received emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act was 1925 students.

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  • Rock Valley College reviewed the Title IV status of all currently enrolled students as of April 15, 2020. Students that had a FAFSA application on file, completed financial aid file,  and met the regulatory requirements were reviewed.  The evaluation expanded in accordance to Expected Family Contribution to determine the monetary value eligible students would receive.  Students that had a FAFSA on file, had documented need, met regulatory requirements, and did not have a completed financial aid file were requested to complete an online application to apply for Cares funds.

7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

  • Rock Valley College sent emails and phone calls to all students on Friday, May 15, 2020 with information pertaining to the Cares Act. The message indicated the following:

Dear Student,

Rock Valley College has posted important information about the CARES Act on our website.  Please click on the following link (link provided in communication) to learn more.

The Financial Aid Office will be sending out additional communication early next week to the students that automatically qualify for funds. Please notice there is a CARES Act emergency fund application in the FAQ.  Please read details closely, as the deadline to apply is May 27th, 2020.  Filling out this request does not automatically qualify a student for funds.


Additional communication was sent May 20th, 2020 and May 25th, 2020 as a reminder to students to complete an application in the event they do not automatically qualify for Cares funds.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. One aspect of the act was the creation of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF provides funds to institutions for emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yes, per guidance from the US Department of Education, Rock Valley College will be utilizing FAFSA data to determine eligibility. Since the majority of our federal allocation was based on the number of Pell Grant-eligible students currently enrolled at Rock Valley College, we are required to use financial need – as determined through the FAFSA formula – to determine eligibility for grants. Students who have the greatest financial need will be considered for these funds.

Federal Regulations require schools to confirm that a student receiving any CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant meet the following requirements:

  1. Be enrolled in an approved degree;
     
  2. Have been enrolled in Spring semester coursework as of March 20, 2020;
     
  3. Not be in default on any financial aid loan, or not have been involved in any fraudulent receipt, distribution, or overpayment of financial aid funds;
     
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen, and have a social security number;

  5. Be registered for the selective service (if male);

  6. Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations;

  7. Be in good Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standing.

For Spring 2020 requests, you will not be eligible for CARES Emergency Relief Grant funding if:

  • You were enrolled in a program only offered fully online before March 13, when the proclamation was issued declaring a national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
     
  • You are co-enrolled in another college or university where you could also be receiving CARES Act funds.

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. International students studying in the U.S. with an F-1 Student Visa, students enrolled in non-credit coursework, and dual enrolled high school students are not eligible for CARES Act funding.

Eligible students that meet the initial criteria will receive the emergency grants automatically and are not required to take any additional action. Emergency grants will be automatically disbursed to students through the Financial Aid Office. An application process will be made available to students that do not meet the initial criteria or are in need of additional funds.

Priority deadline to apply for funds is May 27, 2020

Cares Act grant eligible students will receive a notification from the Rock Valley College Financial Aid Department.

Grant amounts will vary based on student financial aid eligibility components. The grants range in values between $200 and $800.

Rock Valley College students receiving the Cares Act emergency grant will be issued a paper check.

Funds will begin to disburse in May. 

Funds from the CARES Act grant should be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to housing, food, technology, course materials, healthcare, and childcare.