Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students
The federal government recently enacted the CARES Act, which allocates emergency grant funds to colleges, including Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (DSLCC), to support students and institutions with expenses and financial needs related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DSLCC’s total allocation of HEERF funding is $444,564. Of that, DSLCC has received, reviewed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the US Department of Education that it will use $222,282 (50%) for “the sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.”
DSLCC has determined that 398 student were eligible to participate in Title IV programs as outlined under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Based on those requirements, DSLCC has determined that 336 students met all of the requirements to receive Emergency Federal Aid Grant funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
Every eligible student (Title IV eligible as of March 13, 2020) enrolled during the Spring 2020 term automatically received CARES Act Emergency funding. Students were notified by email and strongly encouraged to their College email regularly, even after the end of the Spring 2020 semester for more information.
As of July 21, 2020, DSLCC has distributed $201,600 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
What is the purpose of the Emergency Grant Aid?
These CARES Act funds were designated by the Secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, to be used by students “to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”
Who is eligible to apply to receive CARES Act emergency grants?
In accordance with current guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), only students who are or could be eligible to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs may receive CARES Act emergency grants. In the simplest terms, Title IV eligibility means that a student has filed or is eligible to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Title IV eligibility means students must meet the following criteria:
• Enrolled at the College for the Spring 2020 semester and pursuing a degree or certificate program (i.e. matriculated students)
• U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (including a U.S. national or permanent resident)
• Valid social security number
• Male students must be registered with Selective Service
• Have a high school diploma, high school equivalency diploma (previously referred to as a GED), or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting
Due to current USDOE guidance and restrictions, students are not eligible to receive CARES Act emergency grants if they are:
• Enrolled in distance-only degree programs as of March 13, 2020
• Not current in repaying a debt on payments owed through a federal student assistance program or are in default on such payments
• Are not or would not be eligible to participate in federal Title IV programs, based on current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. At this time, this category includes international students, undocumented students, and non-matriculated students. If you are a student from one of these groups, please refer to the information below for assistance available to students who are not eligible for a CARES Act emergency grant.
How can I use this Aid?
All students receiving CARES Act cash grants are advised to prioritize use of these funds to cover expenses related to the campus closure made necessary by the COVID-19 emergency. Eligible expenses include those associated with your cost of attendance at college, including food, housing, transportation, course materials (books and supplies), technology (such as purchase of a computer or Internet access), health care, and child care.
What if I didn’t receive grant aid, but I need emergency funds?
A portion of DSLCC’s CARES Act allocation (less than 10%) has been set aside for students who did not demonstrate need as documented on a FAFSA, but may now have need following the disruption due to COVID-19. More information will be available soon.
If I am not Title IV eligible and cannot apply for a CARES Act emergency grant, are there other forms of emergency financial assistance I can request?
Yes! Through generous donor support, the DSLCC Educational Foundation has established an Emergency Fund to provide financial assistance to students with financial need. Students should contact the Foundation Office at (540) 863-2835 for more information and an application.