Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”)), Pub. L. No. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020), directs institutions receiving funds under Section 18004 of the Act to submit (in a time and manner required by the Secretary) a report to the Secretary describing the use of funds distributed from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”). To meet this reporting requirement, the Department of Education has requested the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:
- An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
The College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement establishing its intent to participate in this program. The College intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under this Section of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
- The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).
- 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 thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
5,409 students are Title IV-eligible, but additional eligibility factors provided by the Department of Education, coupled with students that demonstrated little or no need within their application, reduced the number of students that could receive awards under this program.
- The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
1,108 have been awarded as of May 20, 2020.
- The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
All students seeking grants from CARES Act funding were required to fill out an application and provide responses to a series of questions to assess levels of need demonstrated. All students enrolled in the spring semester of 2020 were invited to fill out an application. A rubric was developed to quantify the demonstrated need based on the responses of the applicants. Funding levels were set based on the number of eligible applications received. Applications meeting all eligibility requirements (FAFSA-eligible degree or certificate-seeking students that had classes scheduled in the Spring semester of 2020 that were moved from classroom to remote instruction) were ranked using the aforementioned rubric and received awards at one of four levels based on need demonstrated within their application. Given the rolling nature of the awards, it may be necessary to recalibrate the awarding formula if there is a sudden surge in applications. Supplementary funding (if available) may be provided to awarded students based on additional information provided by applicants in the form of narrative responses which will be scored in a secondary review upon receipt of all applications. Smaller grants will be provided to awarded students that are enrolled in classes in the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters.
- Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
Instructions regarding the application process and funding were posted on the Middlesex College website at: middlesexcc.edu/coronavirus/cares-act-funding-for-students-application-now-available. Students were also informed of the availability of the application via text message. Students received a link to the application through their College email, and a reminder was sent to students that had not completed the application as of May 11th. Students not completing the application were also notified of the May 21st deadline via email. The application was available to students from May 6th through May 21st.