Rock Valley College

CARES Act

Emergency Grants for Students
 

The CARES Act application deadline has passed. Please contact Stacey Kolder in Financial Aid with any questions or concerns.

 

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes the one-time Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for higher education institutions to help address the immediate and urgent impacts on our students and colleges.

Funding is intended to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to Covid-19. All awards must adhere to federal statutory and regulatory requirements.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. One aspect of the act was the creation of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF provides funds to institutions for emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yes, per guidance from the US Department of Education, Rock Valley College will be utilizing FAFSA data to determine eligibility. Since the majority of our federal allocation was based on the number of Pell Grant-eligible students currently enrolled at Rock Valley College, we are required to use financial need – as determined through the FAFSA formula – to determine eligibility for grants. Students who have the greatest financial need will be considered for these funds.

Federal Regulations require schools to confirm that a student receiving any CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant meet the following requirements:

  1. Be enrolled in an approved degree;
     
  2. Have been enrolled in Spring semester coursework as of March 20, 2020;
     
  3. Not be in default on any financial aid loan, or not have been involved in any fraudulent receipt, distribution, or overpayment of financial aid funds;
     
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen, and have a social security number;

  5. Be registered for the selective service (if male);

  6. Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations;

  7. Be in good Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standing.

For Spring 2020 requests, you will not be eligible for CARES Emergency Relief Grant funding if:

  • You were enrolled in a program only offered fully online before March 13, when the proclamation was issued declaring a national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
     
  • You are co-enrolled in another college or university where you could also be receiving CARES Act funds.

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. International students studying in the U.S. with an F-1 Student Visa, students enrolled in non-credit coursework, and dual enrolled high school students are not eligible for CARES Act funding.

Eligible students that meet the initial criteria will receive the emergency grants automatically and are not required to take any additional action. Emergency grants will be automatically disbursed to students through the Financial Aid Office. An application process will be made available to students that do not meet the initial criteria or are in need of additional funds.

Priority deadline to apply for funds is May 27, 2020

Cares Act grant eligible students will receive a notification from the Rock Valley College Financial Aid Department.

Grant amounts will vary based on student financial aid eligibility components. The grants range in values between $200 and $800.

Rock Valley College students receiving the Cares Act emergency grant will be issued a paper check.

Funds will begin to disburse in May. 

Funds from the CARES Act grant should be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to housing, food, technology, course materials, healthcare, and childcare.