Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding

Overview

On 4/10/2020, CGU signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement, assuring that CGU would use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Student.

The U.S. Department of Education allocated $147,554 in CARES Act Funding to CGU, which was received on 4/21/2020 and used as grants to students pursuant to CGU’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Student. The U.S. Department of Education has also provided the methodology used to determine each institution’s allocation of CARES Act Funding. The second allocation of CARES Act Funding, $147,553, was provided by the U.S. Department of Education to CGU on 5/12/2020.

As of 5/19/2020, a total of $147,554.00 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of 7/2/2020, a total of $295,107.00 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

1,439 CGU students completed the 2019-20 FAFSA. Of the 1,439 students, 790 students were enrolled in at least 1 unit for the Spring 2020 semester and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Student under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of 5/19/2020, a total 166 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to Student under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of 7/02/2020, a total 287 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to Student under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

CGU Methodology for Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

Funding from the CARES Act HEERF program were provided to students at CGU in compliance with U.S. Department of Education guidelines, based upon the review and need analysis of applications submitted by students.

Application Review Phase 1

Applications for emergency funding consideration were reviewed by members of the CGU CARES Act Committee in two phases, on a case-by-case basis.

During the first review phase, applications were considered based upon the student’s eligibility to receive funding from the CARES Act HEERF program. Eligibility to receive CARES Act HEERF includes the following requirements:

Student’s Title IV HEA federal student aid eligibility: as determined by completion of the 2019-20 FAFSA.

Student’s enrollment status: half-time status or greater for Spring 2020; enrolled in Spring 2020 but then approved for a Leave of Absence as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions

Students not deemed eligible for CARES Act funding

Because not all students were eligible under the revised guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, CGU identified institutional funds to assist students who could not benefit from CARES funding, specifically for international and undocumented students. In addition, an annual gift account was established by our Advancement team to request donations to further assist CGU students who were not able to benefit from CARES Act funds.

Students who have been identified as not eligible for CARES Act funding include:

  • International students
  • Undocumented students
  • Students enrolled in an online program prior to the impact COVID-19
  • Students not enrolled in an impacted semester (Spring/Summer 2020)
  • Students on an approved Leave of Absence prior to the impact of COVID-19
  • Students who have had no impact to their employment nor had any new/additional COVID-19 related expenses (I.e. housing, technology, childcare, healthcare, etc.)

Application Review Phase 2

During the second review phase, applications were rated based upon an assessment of the urgency of the student’s need: urgent need, high need, low need, and defer to next round of review.

The assessment of a student’s level of urgent need for funding was based upon the following considerations:

  • Student’s reported level of food security (food secure or food insecure)
  • Student’s reported employment status affected by COVID-19 related disruptions (employed or unemployed, with consideration for students reported to have become underemployed by comments in their response)
  • Student’s reported amount of housing/relocation expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions
  • Student’s reported amount of technology expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions
  • Student’s reported amount of healthcare/medical expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions
  • Student’s reported amount of childcare expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions
  • Student’s reported individual circumstances as a result of COVID-19 related disruption

 

The designation of a student’s level of urgent need was based upon the following criteria:

  • Urgent Need: student reported food insecurity along with unemployment/underemployment directly related to COVID-19 disruptions, costs reported for 1 or more areas of impact (housing/relocation, technology, healthcare/medical, childcare, individual circumstances)
  • High Need: student reported unemployment/underemployment directly related to COVID-19 disruptions, costs reported for 1 of more areas of impact or high cost ($1,000+) reported in 1 area of impact
  • Low Need: student reported total costs incurred up to $1,000 in 1 or more areas of impact
  • Defer to Next Round: student reported no cost incurred to areas of impact, but reported being affected by COVID-19 related disruptions

The CGU CARES Act Committee reviewed applications on a weekly basis and applicants designated as “Defer to Next Round” were placed on hold for additional review, in order to perform the initial and secondary review of new applications received.

Awarding & Disbursement of Funds

Applications designated as Low Need, High Need, and Urgent Need were awarded a CARES Act HEERF Stipend. The amount of the stipend was determined based upon the individual application’s review, including any amounts reported by the student on the application, in the range of $250.00 to $2,000.00.

CARES Act Emergency Fund Stipends were added to students’ Spring 2020 financial aid package and disbursed to their student account. After disbursement, a refund was requested to be processed for the amount of the Stipend, thereby providing the funding to students directly irrespective of any amount owed to the institution. Refunds were issued to students in the form of a direct-deposit, or “e-refund” payment to bank account provided by the student through the MyCGU student portal.

Communications to Students Concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants

In an email sent by the CGU Dean of Students on April 21, 2020, CGU Students were notified of the availability of CARES Act HEERF, the application by which students could apply for emergency funding consideration, and a contact email to which emergency funding inquiries could be made.

Students were notified of the status of their application based upon the following outcomes:

  • Application approved for funding
  • Application not approved for funding
  • Applicant did not complete a 2019-20 FAFSA
  • Applicant ineligible for funding as an international student

Additional correspondence from individual students were received by the CARES Act Committee through CARESfunding@cgu.edu. Common inquiries included application review status and emergency fund eligibility requirements.

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting

HEERF Quarterly Report 09/30/2020

Statistics as of 7/2/20

Total Unduplicated Applications:  566

Applicants with employment Affected by COVID–19: 77%

Applicants who are currently unemployed:  48%

Applicants who are facing food insecurity:  41%

100% of the second HEERF allocation was been awarded and disbursed directly to students

Total number of applicants to receive HEERF funding:  287

Total number of applicants to receive CGU Emergency funding:  51

Total number of applicants to receive COVID –19 related funding:  338 (60%)

Statistics as of 5/19/20

Total Applications:  405

Applicants with employment Affected by COVID–19: 73%

Applicants who are currently unemployed:  55%

Applicants who are facing food insecurity:  39%

100% of the initial HEERF allocation was been awarded and disbursed directly to students

Total number of applicants to receive HEERF funding:  166

Total number of applicants to receive CGU Emergency funding:  34

Total number of applicants to receive COVID –19 related funding:  200 (49%)