Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act)
Latest Update: 8/5/2020
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.
To date, HCC has awarded the following:
|Semester||Number of Students||Total Disbursed|
Students who were enrolled at the time of awarding 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.
HCC will continue to follow the awarding process utilized for the spring and summer 2020 semesters to disburse the remaining $1 million of relief funds for the fall 2020 semester. In following the spring and summer 2020 awarding and disbursement model, students are expected to regularly check their HCC email to ensure they do not miss the opportunity for awarding of relief funds.