Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act)
Latest Update: 06/30/2021 (student), 7/9/2021 (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 coronavirus pandemic. This relief funding was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to help with technology, course material, housing, and food insecurities. For detailed information regarding the fund, please visit the following websites:
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 initial student relief funding in the amount of $2.4 million in April 2020. A second supplemental award amount of $2.4 million was issued in January 2021 and a third supplemental award amount of $8.8 million was issued in May 2021 for a total of $13,688,500. The amounts shown below include both the initial and supplemental award disbursements.
To date, HCC has awarded the following:
|Semester||Number of Students||Total Disbursed|
Students who were enrolled at the time of awarding from Winter/Spring 2020 through Winter/Spring 2021 and were eligible for a Pell Grant award, automatically received the relief funding. Students who had a completed 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.
HCC awarded individual students between $100-$650 in emergency relief funds by utilizing the expected family contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA. Students with the most need (lowest EFC) were awarded the maximum amount. Award amounts were determined based on the number of eligible students.
Moving forward, beginning with the Summer 2021 semester, HCC Financial Aid Services will email all eligible students and invite them to complete the emergency relief required agreement in place of the previous utilized survey. Students who accept the agreement will be reviewed for possible awarding of emergency relief funds. For the purposes of awarding each semester, students with exceptional need will be prioritized by awarding all pell awarded students first. We will continue to award emergency relief funds through the Spring 2022 semester or when we have exhausted our allotment, whichever comes first.
HCC must also disclose its use of the institutional portion of the relief fund.