CARES ACT/ HEERF I, II, III

COVID-19 Emergency Funding Information
CARES Act: HEERF Reporting Requirements
2021-2022

 

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

 

HEERF III Student Financial Assistance Funds

Gordon State College (GSC) has been approved for an additional $5,416,134 to award in the third round of grants for our students through the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Under section 314(c)(3) of the CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, GSC must make financial aid grants to students (including students exclusively enrolled in distance education), which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

GSC acknowledges that it retains discretion to determine the amount and availability of each individual financial aid grant consistent with all applicable laws, including nondiscrimination laws. We further acknowledge that under section 314(c)(3), we must prioritize grants to students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants. However, students do not need to be Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants in order to receive a financial aid grant.

Additionally, the college acknowledges that it may not condition the receipt of such a financial aid grant on continued or future enrollment with the Recipient. GSC also acknowledges that it may not require a student to consent to the application of the financial aid grant to the student’s outstanding account balance with the college as a condition of receipt of or eligibility for the financial aid grant.

A. GSC HEERF III Funding Programs Overview

1. The GSC Needs Based Grant: The Emergency Assistance Needs Based Grant will be distributed to all GSC students who filed the FAFSA and had an estimated family contribution that indicated they were eligible to receive the Pell grant. Students would have to be enrolled in courses at GSC on or after the 10th day of the term, however enrollment throughout the entire term is not necessary to receive such funds. The Emergency Assistance Needs Based Grant would also exclude Transient and DE students.

2. The GSC COVID-19 Emergency Fund: The fund will be used to provide emergency grants to assist students during the COVID-19 crisis in order for them to maintain their enrollment. It is designed to enable a student to meet a short-term financial hardship and is managed by GSC Dean of Students. Students will complete an application and may provide supporting documentation. Applications will be reviewed by a campus review committee of staff and faculty. Students would have to be enrolled in courses on or after the 10th day of the term however enrollment throughout the entire term is not necessary to receive such funds. Transient are not eligible to apply to this fund.

B. GSC HEERF III Fund Distribution

The GSC Consolidated Appropriations Act plan will distribute the HEERF III funding to students through two separate programs:

1. The GSC Emergency Assistance Needs Based Grant: The GSC Needs Based Grant will be an additional award sent to students who have filed a FAFSA and have an estimated family contribution that would have made them eligible to receive the Pell Grant. The amount of the GSC Emergency Assistance Grant will be $200 to $500, providing those students with the most need a total of $500.

2. The GSC COVID-19 Emergency Fund: The GSC COVID-19 Emergency Fund will be an additional option to provide students with additional funds in emergency situations. The GSC Dean of Students will lead a campus committee of faculty and staff to receive and review applications for the GSC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Applications will be reviewed as they are received by the college. After the committee reviews and determines amount of award, the committee will notify the student by email of award amount. The award will be placed on the student’s account by the Bursar’s Office.

Award decisions will be based on the established criteria outlined in the application. Award amounts will be determined based on the request, proof of need, and available funds. Awards will average approximately $500-$1000, however extenuating circumstances may warrant a higher amount. Maximum award per term would be $2972.

All requests and awards will be tracked and recorded by Financial Aid for student retention monitoring and reporting purposes.

*Due to limited funding and to extend remaining funds and student support into Spring 23, as of July 1, 2022, the college will only offer HEERF funds through the GSC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The college will not offer the GSC Emergency Assistance Needs Based Grant.

GSC COVID-19 Emergency Criteria

GSC COVID Emergency funds may be used to assist students with unexpected emergency expenses associated with the COVID-19. Expenses should be related to the cost of attendance, and could include:

  • Food expenses
  • Technology
  • Maintaining a Continuous Enrollment Status with the institution
  • Course materials
  • Travel costs related to a death or illness of immediate family member
  • Unanticipated and/or extraordinary child expenses, including, but not limited to, child-care, formula, diapers, etc.
  • Medical bills or medications
  • Sudden emergency move, change in living conditions, or to prevent homelessness
  • Safety needs (i.e. lock changes, etc.)

Refund distribution to students

Distribution of the GSC Emergency Assistance Needs Based Grant will begin immediately upon approval of the proposed plan by the University System of Georgia. The application process and distribution of the GSC COVID-19 Emergency Fund will also begin immediately upon approval of the GSC proposed plan and continue until the balance is exhausted. Funds would be distributed based on the students refund preference selected in our student system. The institution will not automatically apply any HEERF III funding to an outstanding balance without student written or electronic consent.