Learn more about the CARES Act Grant Program below, or visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance web pages for additional assistance.
What is the CARES Act Grant Program?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grant Program is money made available from the federal government to assist college students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to provide emergency assistance to students with unanticipated expenses due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
How can I apply for an Emergency Assistance Grant?
Emergency Assistance Grants are available to students who were enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester with extraordinary one-time expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please use this form, along with all relevant documents, to request an emergency grant by April 1, 2021. The maximum emergency grant will be $1,000.
How do I know if I am eligible for Title IV funding?
Title IV is a term that refers to federal financial aid funds. You are deemed Title IV-eligible if, according to federal guidelines, you are eligible to apply for financial aid.
Do I need to be eligible for Title IV funding to apply for an Emergency Assistance Grant?
No. You need only to have been enrolled as a student in spring 2020, complete the application, and submit with the appropriate documentation.
What expenses qualify for an Emergency Assistance Grant?
Expenses that qualify for an Emergency Assistance Grant include food, housing (e.g., rent), moving expenses (e.g., storage), technology to engage in online courses, unexpected travel costs, child-care expenses, healthcare and medical expenses.
Will either the CARES Act funding or the Emergence Assistance Grant be considered taxable income?
No. These grants are not taxable.
I would like the College to use the grant money I received for other students. How do I do that?
If you would like to donate your grant back to students with greater need, please cash the check and make a donation to the SMCM Recovery Fund. Your gift to the Recovery Fund will go a long way in reducing the financial hardships and obstacles facing our students.
What are the reporting requirements for the HEERF-student funds?
Students who receive funding from their institutions are not required to record or track how it is spent. Schools, however, will be required to report:
An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned the certification and the agreement form and that the institution has used, or intends to use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.
The form was signed on April 10, 2020. It was submitted on April 11.
The total amount of funds that the institution will receive, or has received under the HEERF student portion.
SMCM received the full allotment of HEERF student funding totaling $586,878.
Of those funds, the total amount that has been distributed to students as of the date of reporting (i.e. the first 30-day deadline, and then every 45 days thereafter).
As of May 27, 2020, all $586,878 has been disbursed to students.
The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and therefore eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant.
The initial estimate for the number of students to receive the HEERF Funding was 1,386 students.
The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant.
The total number of recipients is 1,346.
How the institution determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.
- All students deemed to be eligible to be Title IV eligible were awarded HEERF funds.
- The students were awarded based on their financial need determined from ISIR information or program enrollment.
- Full-time undergraduate students were placed into categories based on financial need: no need, low need, mid need, high need.
- Students were then paid amounts ranging from $100 – $1000 based on this categorization.
- Part-time and Graduate students all received a flat amount.
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.
- Once the disbursement process timeframe is in place, an email from President Jordan announcing the grant program and relevant details will be sent to Spring 2020 enrolled students.
- When the checks are mailed, an email will be sent to students to advise them that the checks have been mailed.
- SMCM currently maintains a COVID-19 site with all pertinent information. This information is continually updated and maintained by our public relations team.
The first report must be submitted within 30 days of when the institution receives their allocation, and every 45 days thereafter.
While ED develops a process for institutions to directly provide the required reporting data, it has in the meantime called for institutions to make easily accessible to the public via the institution’s website.