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CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and how does it apply to students?

A.  The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet due to a disruption in campus-based services and learning. 

In keeping with the terms of the Department of Education certification, 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act will be designated to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students.


Q.  Which students are eligible to receive Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) student emergency funds? 

A:   The funds are available to students who were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) & enrolled at the institution at the time the grant award notification was received by the institution. Title IV eligibility is determined by a qualified FAFSA application.


Q:  May I receive HEERF student emergency funds if I'm an International or undocumented (DACA) student?

A:  The Department of Education's April 21, 2020 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.


Q:  Do I have to be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to qualify for emergency grants?

A:  Yes.  Students that are on Financial Aid Suspension do not qualify for emergency grant funds.  Students who are on suspension for max time frame & students whose GPA or attendance do not meet SAP requirements do not qualify for emergency grant funds.  


 Q:  Do I have to repay the emergency grant funds?

A:  No.  These emergency grant funds are not loans and do not have to be repaid.


Q:  Will HEERF emergency financial aid grants be counted as income for the calculation  of expected family contribution (EFC) or estimated financial assistance (EFA)?

 A:  No.  The Department of Education's guidance clarifies that any aid received by victims of an emergency by either a federal or state entity for purposes of providing financial relief will not be counted as income for the calculation of EFC, or as EFA.


Q:  How will I receive my funds if awarded a grant?

  A:  If you are eligible according to the guidelines, complete the following instructions no later than July 15, 2020:

  1. Pick up the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding Award Form in the Business Office

  2. Complete the form and return to the Diamonds Business Office no later than July 15, 2020.

  3.   If you are unable to access the form, please contact the Business Office.


Q:  How long will it take for me to receive my emergency grant funds?

A:  The Business Office will begin disbursing funds to students on July 13, 2020.


If you have questions, please schedule a meeting with the Business Office.


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