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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

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    Higher Education Emergency Relief fund- Student Aid brings some much-needed help to college students.

    As a part of the CARES Act, a new student emergency financial aid grant is available to qualifying students through their college or university.

    We put together some information to see if you can take advantage of this new benefit.

    How do you apply?

    Students can apply for CARES Act funds by submitting a federal emergency grant request through your college institution. The application window will be open until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, May 19. Assistance is subject to availability of funds, and applicants must meet eligibility criteria.

    Who is Eligible?

    Undergraduate, graduate and medical degree-seeking students are eligible, but must have submitted a 2019-2020 FAFSA or must submit a FAFSA application by the June 30 deadline in order to be eligible for the funding. Students must also meet federal aid eligibility criteria, including but not limited to:

    • Being a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. permanent resident or conditional permanent resident)
    • Having a valid Social Security number
    • Having a high school diploma, GED or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting
    • Being degree-seeking
    • Must be enrolled in the term for which they are seeking assistance
    • Cannot be in default on federal student loans
    • Being registered with Selective Service, if male
    • Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • Cannot exceed aggregate loan limit or Pell Grant lifetime usage
    • Cannot owe an overpayment on federal aid programs

    Additionally, students enrolled in an all online program of study are not eligible.

    What can I do if I didn’t submit a FAFSA for 2019-2020?

    Students may still be eligible for CARES Act funding but must submit a FAFSA application. We recommend these students apply for CARES Act funding and fill out a FAFSA application, which takes the Department of Education 48-72 hours to process.

    What does it cover?

    CARES Act funds are designed to assist with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare and child care.

    How much will I get?

    Award amounts will vary based upon student’s request and available funding.

    Can I apply if I depend on financial support from my parents and they are negatively impacted by COVID-19?

    If families incurred expenses due to reduced work hours or loss of employment due to COVID-19 and those circumstances impacted students’ ability to pay for expenses related to their pursuit of higher education — such as housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare and child care — students may apply and explain how these circumstances impacted their ability to pay for their academic-related expenses.

    Contact your school’s financial aid office or Guidance Department for additional questions.

    And don’t forget about the temporary relief for Federal Student Loan borrowers:

    • All payments are suspended until September 30, 2020.
    • No accrual of interest.
    • Collections are suspended.

    We’re here to help. Please call if you have questions and we will direct you to the correct resource.

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    Denise Calderon, CPA

    Denise has over 18 years of accounting experience as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Virginia and Florida.

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