Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund:

Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under Section 18004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Source: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/heerfstudentfaqs.pdf

The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. These FAQs address only those funds provided by the Secretary to an institution for emergency financial aid grants to students under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act.


1) Can institutions that have provided refunds to students for room and board, tuition, and other fees (such as activities fees) reimburse themselves from the funds for the emergency financial aid grants to students?
No. The CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of HEERF funds received under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. These funds distributed by the Department represent the 50 percent minimum of each institution’s HEERF funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act for these emergency financial aid grants to students. Section 2 of the Funding Certification and Agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students states: “Recipient shall not use [these] funds to reimburse itself for any costs or expenses, including but not limited to any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus and/or any refunds or other benefits that Recipient previously issued to students.” Institutions will have more flexibility in the use of the portion of the HEERF that is made available to cover an institution’s costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. The Department will provide a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document regarding the allowable uses of funds for an institution’s costs shortly after making those funds available to institutions.


2) Can institutions that have provided information technology hardware (such as laptops, hotspot internet devices, etc.) and other related equipment to students reimburse themselves from the funds for the emergency financial aid grants to students?
No. The CARES Act requires institutions to provide the emergency financial aid grants to students. Section 2 of the Funding Certification and Agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students states: “Recipient shall not use [these] funds to reimburse itself for any costs or expenses, including but not limited to any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus and/or any refunds or other benefits that Recipient previously issued to students.” 2 Institutions will have more flexibility in the use of the portion of the HEERF that is made available to cover an institution’s costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. The Department will provide a FAQ document regarding the allowable uses of funds for an institution’s costs shortly after making those funds available to institutions.


3) Can institutions that have provided institutionally-funded emergency grants to students as a result of COVID-19 reimburse themselves from the funds for the emergency financial aid grants to students?
The only institutionally-funded emergency grants to students that are eligible for reimbursement from the funds for emergency financial aid grants to students under the CARES Act are grants: 1) for authorized expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus as set forth in Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act; 2) made to students eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act; and 3) made on or after March 27, 2020, the date the CARES Act was enacted. An institution must use no less than 50 percent of funds provided pursuant to Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) for emergency financial aid grants to students. An institution must document that reimbursements for institutionally-funded emergency grants to students are made in accordance with the CARES Act.


4) Can institutions that have continued to pay student workers from institutional funds for campus jobs reimburse themselves from the funds for the emergency financial aid grants to students?
No. The CARES Act requires institutions to provide the emergency financial aid grants tostudents, and institutions may not use that portion of the HEERF set aside for emergency financial aid grants to students for this purpose. The Department notes that Congress has provided additional flexibility to institutions relating to the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program, including that institutions may continue to pay FWS wages to students for the remainder of the current academic year in instances in which those students’ jobs were interrupted as a result of the national emergency due to the coronavirus, as long as those students had started employment prior to this national emergency. The CARES Act also waives the non-federal wage match requirement for institutional and non-profit employers of FWS students. Please see the Department’s Guidance for Interruptions of Study Related to Coronavirus, which provides additional information about the FWS Program. The Department will provide a FAQ document regarding the allowable uses of funds for an institution’s costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus shortly after making those funds available to institutions.


5) Can institutions use the funds for the emergency financial aid grants to students to pay outstanding or overdue student bills to institutions
No. The CARES Act requires institutions to provide the emergency financial aid grants to students. The institution may not use that portion of the HEERF set aside for emergency financial aid grants to students to satisfy a student’s outstanding account balance. The Department notes that the student may use his or her emergency financial aid grant for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.


6) What data will the Department require institutions to report after disbursement of emergency financial aid grants to students?
As explained in the Funding Certification and Agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students, each institution will report to the Secretary the following: how grants were distributed to students, how the amount of each grant was calculated, and any instructions or directions that the institution gave to students about the grant. Institutions must also comply with the reporting requirements under Section 15011 of the CARES Act. The Department will publish a notice in the Federal Register to provide instructions to institutions on these reporting requirements.


7) What obligation does an institution have to continue to pay all its employees after accepting the funds for the emergency financial aid grants to students?
The CARES Act requires each institution that accepts funds from the HEERF, including funds used to pay emergency financial aid grants, to continue to pay employees and contractors to the greatest extent practicable based on the unique financial circumstances of each institution; however, institutions may not use emergency financial aid grants to students to pay employees and contractors.


8) Are incarcerated students participating in the Second Chance Pell Experimental Site Initiative (ESI) eligible for emergency financial aid grants to students?
The CARES Act expressly requires that institutions provide the emergency financial aid grants to students “for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare).” If an incarcerated individual who is participating in the Second Chance Pell experiment is released from incarceration as a result of the national emergency due to the coronavirus, remains enrolled as a student in the program under the Second Chance Pell experiment, and has such expenses, he or she likely qualifies for an emergency financial aid grant. A person who remains incarcerated is unlikely to incur these expenses and would thus be ineligible. Accordingly, for students participating in the Second Chance Pell ESI, institutions will need to review on a case-by-case basis what, if any, expenses an incarcerated person, or a formerly incarcerated person released due to the coronavirus, has incurred due to the disruption of campus operations.


9) What students are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF?
Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.


10) Will funds provided through the CARES Act be included in an institution’s 90/10 calculation?
Funds paid directly to institutions by the Department through the HEERF will not be included as revenue for 90/10 purposes.


11) How must institutions pay the emergency financial aid grants to students?
Institutions may provide emergency financial aid grants to students using checks, electronic transfer payments, debit cards, and payment apps that adhere to the Department’s requirements for paying credit balances to students. The disbursement of the emergency financial aid grant to the student must remain unencumbered by the institution; debts, charges, fees, or other amounts owed to the institution may not be deducted from the emergency financial aid grant. The emergency financial aid grant may not be made to students through the use of a credit card that can be used only on campus or in a retail outlet affiliated with the institution.


12) At institutions that provide both online and ground-based education, are students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs prior to the national emergency due to the coronavirus eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants?
At institutions that provide both online and ground-based education, those students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak,” Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 53 at 15337- 38, are not eligible for emergency financial aid grants. The formula provided by Congress for calculating the distribution of funds to institutions excludes students who were exclusively enrolled in distance education courses. Additionally, the emergency financial 5 aid grants to students are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, and students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs would not have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.


13) Where can institutions locate additional resources and information related to emergency financial aid grants to students?
CARES Act grant resources and guidance are located on the Office of Postsecondary Education’s webpage: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html

END OF FAQ







Glen Dow Academy Statements regarding CARES Act:

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.

Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design & Salons, Inc. completed and submitted the Recipient Funding and Certification Agreement on July 1, 2020 assuring that 50% of the funds would be used to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Glen Dow Academy will receive a total allocation of $122,679.00 The Bookkeeping office and Financial Aid office will work together to deliver 100% of the funding to students impacted by COVID-19.


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.

Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design & Salons, Inc. will receive $122,679.00 in funding to be distributed among all students active as of March 17, 2020. This date was used because it was the first scheduled closure date where students could not earn hours.


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).

As of September 17, 2020 Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design & Salons, Inc. has awarded $0.00 to students.


4) The estimated total number of students at the institution who are or could be eligible to participate in the Federal student financial aid programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and thus are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design & Salons, Inc. estimates the number of students eligible to participate in the Emergency Grant program to be 91 students.


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 September 17, 2020 < 10 students have been awarded an Emergency Financial Aid Grant from the CARES Act.


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.

Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design & Salons, Inc. determined that all students active during closure were financially impacted by the pandemic. The school divided the funds up by the active number of students (91) and will award an Emergency Grant in the amount of $1,348.00 per student. Students will receive an email notice of the CARES Act Grant posted to the Glen Dow website. The Bookkeeping and Financial Aid office evaluated student expenses related to the disruption of the Pandemic and determined all students qualify for Emergency Grant Funding due to COVID-19.


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

Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design & Salons, Inc. has posted frequently asked questions on their website under the Financial Aid tab. Students have been encouraged to reach out by phone or email to the financial aid office for information about the CARES Act Grant money. CARES Act monies will be distributed to students in forms of checks- active students may pick up their checks from the Bookkeeping office or they will be mailed out to our addresses we have on file.