fbpx

CARES Reporting Information

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) that provides emergency financial aid grants (HEERF-student share) for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Pitt Community College’s Allocation and Actions – CARES Funds

U.S. Department of Education CARES ACT website link https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html

04/14/2020- Pitt Community College’s representative signed and returned the CARES (P.L. 116-136) certification and assurance form for the student portion of funding. Total allocation $5,510,793.00.

04/22/2020- PCC received $2,755,397 for the student portion and began the process of determining eligible students and creating an application.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria was used to determine eligible applicants. Information for student eligibility was determined following the HEERF guidelines as of of March 1st 2020, using student’s Spring 2020 status, and students’ 2019-2020 FAFSA.

  • Not Title IV Aid, but Title IV Eligibility Required: While HEERF-student share dollars are not Title IV aid, ED’s April 21 guidance states that students must meet Title IV eligibility requirements in order to receive HEERF emergency grants.
    • Section 484 of the HEA states that Title IV eligible students must:
      • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.
      • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school.
      • For currently enrolled students, be making satisfactory academic progress.
      • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans.
      • Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
      • File “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes
        – A statement of educational purpose.
        – Student’s SSN.
      • Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen.
      • Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges.
      • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
      • Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
      • Have Selective Service registration verified.
      • Have Social Security Number verified.
      • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
  • Expense vs. Need: HEERF-student share dollars are to aid students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus; this is different than a change in a student’s financial need due to COVID-19, which could be a result of a loss of income rather than new expenses.
  • Direct to Students: Institutions must pay HEERF-student share emergency grants directly to students and may not apply the grants toward outstanding institutional charges. (NASFAA 2020)

Process

An application was derived based on the qualifications above and made available electronically to all eligible applicants. Titled “Emergency Financial Aid Application. Applications were due on 5/18/2020.

The Grants Management Team and the Director of Financial aid reviewed all applications for completeness and emailed students directly if applications were blank. Students were instructed to check a box electronically consenting to the following:

“By signing this application, you certify that the information reported is accurate. You understand that if you are awarded funds, they will be sent to the address on file with the Registrar’s Office. Any funding received will be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the corona virus as indicated above. Submission of this application does not guarantee funding. Upon approval, you will receive an email of how and when to expect funding.”

Eligible students were notified at the following dates/manner;

  1. 5/6/2020 Initial email notifying student of eligibility and link to application sent to student’s PCC email address.
  2. 5/6/2020 acknowledgment email sent to students who submitted application the acknowledgement email indicates a timeline for funding, how funding will be paid and additional resources.
  3. 5/8/2020 reminder email sent to students
  4. 5/8/2020 acknowledgment email sent to students
  5. 5/13/2020 text message sent to eligible students directing them to check their email about the Emergency Funding Application
  6. 5/13/2020 acknowledgement email sent to students
  7. 5/13/2020 reminder email sent to students
  8. 5/14/2020 acknowledgement email sent to students
  9. 5/15/2020 acknowledgement email sent to students
  10. 5/16/2020 reminder email sent to students
  11. 5/17/2020 reminder text went out to students
  12. 5/17/2020 acknowledgement sent to students
  13. 5/19/2020 notification of approval, denial or check being held

Qualitative Data

  • 3,621 students were determined eligible
  • 2,150 students applied
  • 2,095 applications were approved
    • Denied applications consisted of the following reasons:
      – Blank application and no correspondence received from student on a qualifying expense
      – Indication from the student via email or on application that they did not need/want the funding
    • $2,755,397.00 in funding was divided evenly by all students
    • $2,755,394.12 Amount was awarded on 5/18/2020
    • 2,056 student checks were mailed out on 5/19/2020, remainder returned.

Pitt Community College’s Allocation and Actions – Additional Emergency Funds

PCC opened a second round for Emergency Aid Applications for funding on 09/17/2020 using funds from the Institutional Portion awarded.

Qualitative Data

  • 09/17/2020-973 students were notified
  • 35 students completed the application
  • 24 students were awarded $500 each totaling $12,000.00

Link for Student Communication CARES HEERF I and CRRSAA-HEERF II

Additional Institutional Portion funding was used to purchase laptops and hotspots for students and faculty, Protective Equipment (PPE), server upgrades, firewall upgrades, exam proctoring, Webex room kits, monitors, a catalog hosting service, VDI licenses, thermal temperature stations, and hire hotline personnel and other full-time personnel to assist with the transition to remote learning and hybrid class instruction.

HEERF CARES– SIP Formula Funds

05/29/2020- Pitt Community College’s representative signed and returned the HEERF certification and assurance form for the student portion of funding. Total allocation $269,282. An additional $3,147.00 was received from the redistributed funds. Funds have been used for professional development opportunities for instructors and staff, to support student services, and to reclaim lost vending machine revenues.

CARES Act Recipient Agreement section 4c, Pitt Community College has continued to pay all of its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures to the greatest extent practicable, in compliance with Section 18006 of the CARES Act.

Information on this document was obtained from NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) NASFAA.org on 5/17/2020 and additionally referenced 09/28/2020.