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CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

CARES Act - US Congress BuildingUpdated September 16, 2020

The Federal Government established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act (CARES). The CARES Act was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020. This fund will allow Alfred State to provide emergency grants to students experiencing financial hardship specifically due to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Alfred State acknowledges an authorized representative of the institution has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and 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.
  • Alfred State has received or will receive $2,212,939 from the Department of Education pursuant to the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    • Alfred State has distributed the following CARES Act funding to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

      Date Student Recipients Total Funds Distributed
      6/26/2020 1306 $931,631.98
      7/15/2020 1766 $1,228,734.47
      8/13/2020 1973 $1,358,434.47
      8/19/2020 2031 $1,397,734.47
      9/1/2020 2031 $1,455,752.33
      9/11/2020 2051 $1.470,852.33
      9/14/2020 2051 $1,541,561.76
  • Alfred State has determined 2,752 students at the institution are potentially 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.

Awarding Methodology

Alfred State has prioritized awarding of Emergency Financial Aid Grants to its students in the following manner (methodology):

Alfred State College will use the funds to meet the emergency needs of students who have been impacted by COVID-19 with consideration of the following priorities:

  • Priority 1- High need students with EFC below the annual Pell threshold
  • Priority 2- All other students meeting the eligibility guidelines

Alfred State plans to award CARES Emergency Grants according to two methods. The first method awards a Base Grant to all eligible students with allowable expenses up to or less than the Base Grant award, with a higher award amount for those who are Priority 1 students. The maximum Base Grant for Priority 1 students is $1,000 and the maximum Base Grant for Priority 2 students is $300.

The second method allows eligible students to apply for an Enhanced Grant for expenses already incurred, or anticipated to incur, that are in excess of the Base Grant amount. The maximum amount of the aggregate sum of the Base and Enhanced Grant for any student is $6,195.

Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, students will receive awards ranging from $100 to $6,195.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible you must have been enrolled in credit bearing courses for the duration of the Spring 2020 term, filed a 2019-2020 Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and deemed eligible for Title IV aid, and cannot have been enrolled in a fully online program prior to March 13, 2020. This was the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak.”

In order for an incurred expense to be eligible, it must be related to the disruption of campus operations. Allowable expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology and computer, health care, dependent care, and/or transportation.

Please note the last day to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA application was June 30, 2020.

How to Apply

Students deemed potentially eligible for a Base Grant will receive an email with instructions on how to review and finalize their Base Grant through a Cares Grant Survey in BannerWeb. Students will complete the survey by choosing one of the certification and attestation statements below:

  • I certify that I have or will incur allowable expenses of food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and/or transportation as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus which equal or exceed the amount of this CARES Act grant award. I understand it is my responsibility to notify the Student Financial Services Office immediately if I will not incur expenses that meet or exceed the amount of my award. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the CARES Act grant eligibility requirements as noted in the Alfred State College Cares Act Grant communication previously sent to me.
  • I decline this Base Grant because I have not already incurred, and will not incur, any allowable expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
  • I have incurred or will incur allowable expenses less than the Base Grant. Students choosing this option will have the opportunity to request an amount below the Base Grant amount before completing the same certification listed for bullet one.

The deadline for accepting Base Grant awards is September 25, 2020.

Eligible students should also complete a Request for an Enhanced Emergency Grant if they have incurred or will incur allowable expenses in excess of the amount of their Base Grant. The electronic application will close for the spring 2020 semester on September 15, 2020.

Repayment

You do not need to repay a Federal CARES Emergency Grant.

Impact on Financial Aid

This funding will not have any effect on your current or future financial aid eligibility.

Please contact the Student Records and Financial Services Office with questions related to the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.

Student Communication

Dear Campus Community,

Students who may be eligible have now received an email letting them know how to apply for federal grants authorized by the CARES Act. We encourage eligible students to log into Banner through my.AlfredState.edu and complete the application for funds before the July 31 deadline. Details are available at www.AlfredState.edu/CARES-Act. Questions should be sent to Student Records and Financial Services Office at sfs@alfredstate.edu.

Alfred State is also collecting donations to assist students. The Support Our Students: SOS Emergency Fund has a goal of $50,000 and we are very close to reaching it! When we do surpass $50,000, SUNY will match the donations to make it $100,000 that Institutional Advancement will be using to assist students. More information regarding that assistance will be announced.

We know that the coronavirus pandemic is very stressful and a burden to students and their families. We hope this aid is a comfort and helpful.

Sincerely,

Dr. Skip Sullivan
President

......................................................................

Dear Student,

You are receiving this email because you may be eligible for a grant from the federal CARES Act.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, SUNY Alfred State College converted all classes to online learning during the spring 2020 semester. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes colleges to award emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Allowable expenses include:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Course materials
  • Technology and computer
  • Health care
  • Dependent care
  • Transportation

Please review eligibility and other details regarding the CARES Act funds for Alfred State at www.AlfredState.edu/CARES-Act. The amount of your Base Grant was based upon the college’s federal allocation, the total number of eligible students, and financial need as determined by the FAFSA.

Visit my.AlfredState.edu and select the BannerWeb icon to complete the Cares Grant Survey. The survey will populate immediately upon logging in. If you have incurred or will incur allowable expenses as noted above related to the disruption of campus operations, you will have the opportunity to accept a Base Grant. If you have not incurred or will not incur allowable expenses as noted above, you will have the opportunity to decline the Base Grant. If you accept a Base Grant, the amount will be refunded to you via check regardless of any outstanding account balance with the college.

The deadline for accepting your Base Grant is July 31, 2020. Any certifications received after that date will be subject to available funding at the time.

Please contact the Student Records and Financial Services Office at sfs@alfredstate.edu or 1-800-4-ALFRED (option 2) with any questions.

Sincerely,
Julie A. Rose
Student Records and Financial Services
Senior Director