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Columbia MD, 21044
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Background
 
 

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act)

Latest Update: 04/10/2021 (student), 1/5/2021 (institutional)

In March 2020, Congress passed the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The fund provides support to eligible students who have been impacted by the change in campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. This relief funding was designed to provide financial assistance to help with technology, course material, housing, and food insecurities. For detailed information regarding the fund, please visit the following website: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html.

In order to receive the emergency funding, Howard Community College (HCC) submitted the required certification agreeing to use no less than 50% of the funding as emergency financial aid grants to students. HCC was approved and received the relief funding in the amount of $2.4 million. A supplemental award amount of $2.4 million was issued in January of 2021 for a total of $4,800,100. The amounts shown below include both the initial and supermall award disbursements.

To date, HCC has awarded the following:

SemesterNumber of StudentsTotal Disbursed
Summer 2020828$358,750.00
Winter/Spring 20202272$982,050.00
Fall 20201992$1,011,300.00
Winter/Spring 20211940$1,215,248.00
Grand Total7032$3,567,348.00


Students who were enrolled at the time of awarding for Winter/Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 and were eligible for a Pell Grant award automatically received the grant funding. Students who had a completed 2019–2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file at the time of awarding, but were not Pell Grant eligible, received a survey to complete to determine eligibility. Based on the survey responses, students who were deemed eligible were also awarded grants.

Based on the number of eligible students, HCC awarded students by utilizing an expected family contribution (EFC) tier (figure 1). Students with the most need (lowest EFC) were awarded the maximum amount.

Figure 1

EFCAward Amount
0-999500.00
1000-1999350.00
2000-2999250.00
3000-3999200.00
4000-5000150.00
>5000100.00


Students who were enrolled at the time of awarding for Fall 2020 and were eligible for a Pell Grant award automatically received the grant funding. Students who had a completed 2020–2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file at the time of awarding, but were not Pell Grant eligible, received a survey to complete to determine eligibility. Based on the survey responses, students who were deemed eligible were also awarded grants.

Based on the number of eligible students, HCC awarded students by utilizing an expected family contribution (EFC) tier (figure 2). Students with the most need (lowest EFC) were awarded the maximum amount.

Figure 2

EFCAward Amount
0-999600
1000-1999450
2000-2999300
3000-3999250
4000-5000200
>5000150

Given the small amount of remaining relief funds for Winter/Spring 2021, HCC sent the relief survey, used to determine eligibility, to a select group of students who we determined had a great need for the term. Each eligible student was awarded $599.00.

HCC must also disclose its use of the institutional portion of the relief fund. Here is the 9-30-2020 report. Here is the 12-31-2020 report. Here is the 3-31-2021 Report.

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