May 14, 2020
Coe initiates disbursement of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grants
Coe College will begin disbursing student aid grants provided through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) on May 15, 2020. HEERF was authorized by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
HEERF emergency financial aid grants will be provided for specific expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, which may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. HEERF funds will not be applied to college debts, charges, fees or other amounts owed to Coe. Students eligible to receive HEERF grants will receive an application from the financial aid office sent to their campus email.
The college received $762,824 in HEERF funds to be issued directly to eligible students who must:
- Be enrolled in spring, May or summer 2020
- Have expenses related to the disruption of on-campus services due to COVID-19
- Be eligible to receive Title IV aid
- Have filed the 2019-20 FAFSA
- Have met satisfactory academic progress
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
Numerous essential items and funds also have been distributed to Coe students through the Student Alumni Association student emergency fund and campus relief funds.
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes two portions of funding related to higher education:
- The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides emergency funding to higher education institutions for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. Coe applied for these funds to assist with the costs of the business interruption associated with COVID-19. We have not received these funds yet but have applied and expect to receive them in the next 30 days.
- A second portion of the CARES Act provides financial support to students. We received notification this week that we now have access to this funding. We are working through the process to determine who is eligible and will access these funds as soon as this is completed. To be eligible for this assistance, students must meet all of the following criteria:
- Meet Title IV eligibility requirements.
- Demonstrate expenses related to the disruption of on campus services, such as the requirement to move off campus and adjustments to distance learning.
- Have submitted the 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Be enrolled for the 2020 spring term.
The methodology used for student selection was structured using eligibility determined by the Department of Education. The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA as well as the status of enrollment and student housing data were used to create three eligibility groups.
Group 1 — Moved off campus during the spring term and demonstrated high financial need.
Group 2 — Moved off campus during the spring term and demonstrated some financial need.
Group 3 — Enrolled at Coe during the spring, May or summer term.
Students in Groups 1 and 2 were sent an email that contained a link to a CARES Emergency Grant form. Those that confirmed they incurred expenses related to the college’s interruption of services received a cash grant up to $600 for eligible expenses. Instructions and guidance were provided on the form. Students in Group 3 should request assistance and complete a Request for CARES Emergency Financial Aid application to be considered for funding. An electronic link to the application was sent to eligible students in Groups 1 and 2 if they indicated on their initial CARES Emergency Grant form that their expenses exceeded $600. Students who were identified as eligible and have not yet completed the form are receiving periodic email reminders from the Coe College Office of Student Financial Services.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning to students about phishing emails being received regarding CARES funding. Students should not provide personal information like their social security number or bank account information. Updates to personal information should only be made through my.coe or by contacting the Coe College Office of Student Financial Services.
The below information outlines the sequence of events surrounding securing these funds.
4.9.20 | Secretary DeVos from the Department of Education (DOE) announced that funding was available for emergency grants to students. Limited guidance was provided on how this funding can be used and difficulties accessing the proper grant application through grants.gov were encountered.
4.14.20 | Iowa Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU) weekly phone call with all Iowa chief financial officers (CFOs) discussed the package and how to distribute and apply for the funding.
4.20.20 | Coe applied for the student portion of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants and signed the Certification and Agreement.
4.21.20 | IAICU weekly phone call with all Iowa CFOs discussed the package and how to properly disburse to students.
4.21.20 | DOE provided guidance on how to disburse funds to students.
4.21.20 | Coe’s Financial Aid and Business Offices met to discuss the communication and direction from the DOE and the IAICU.
4.25.20 | G5, The U.S. Department of Education’s Grants Management System, provided notification of funds available to Coe. The amount of funds received was $762,824 and will be used to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
4.27.20 | Coe’s Business Office met to review the G5 website and learn how to draw funds from the site.
4.28.20 | IAICU weekly phone call with all Iowa CFOs discussed the package and scheduled how to disburse to students.
5.1.20 | Coe’s Business Office will meet to discuss the process of disbursement. Direction from the DOE requires that the funds be used within one year of availability (by April 23, 2021).
5.11.20 | Eligibility and disbursement amount determined for first round of student emergency grants.
5.12.20 | 524 students notified of eligibility of up to $600 in Emergency Grants for expenses related to COVID-19.
5.13.20 | Students returned applications sent via email by the Financial Aid office
5.15.20 | First round of Emergency Grants disbursed to 169 students totaling $96,704
5.15.20 | 268 students notified of eligibility of up to $500 in Emergency Grants for expenses related to COVID-19
5.25.20 | Two rounds of Emergency Grants in total have been disbursed to 307 students totaling $194,745.
7.9.20 | Nine rounds of Emergency Grants in total have been disbursed to 581 students totaling $444,150.
8.23.20 | Twelve rounds of Emergency Grants in total have been disbursed to 645 students totaling $504,659.
10.7.20 | Eighteen rounds of Emergency Grants in total have been disbursed to 648 students totaling $578,899.
11.21.20 | Twenty-four rounds of Emergency Grants in total have been disbursed to 921 students totaling $725,424.
1.13.21 | Twenty-five rounds of Emergency Grants in total have been disbursed to 921 students totaling $725,924.
4.10.21 | No additional Emergency Grants have been issued since January 13, 2021. $36,900 in grant funds remain available to be disbursed.
Business Operation Support: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
4.23.20 | Coe College applied for the institutional portion of the funds, which had not been funded as of April 28. These funds are to be used to offset the costs associated with the disruption of campus services such as housing, dining, academic program costs and IT related impacts.
4.28.20 | IAICU weekly phone call with all Iowa CFOs discussed the funding package and how the funds can be applied. The decision was made to seek further direction.
5.1.20 | Coe’s Business Office will meet to discuss the timeline of the funds to be received to help offset significant business interruption costs incurred.
5.6.20 | G5, The U.S. Department of Education's Grants Management System, provided notification of funds available to Coe. The amount of funds received was $762,823 and will be used to offset costs related to refunds made to students for housing, food and parking fees.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA)
On January 17, 2021, Coe College was notified by the Department of Education (DOE) that supplemental funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) in the amount of $2,234,501 would be available to the college through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). Over the next several weeks the DOE released guidance to assist higher education institutions in the appropriate use of funds and in the determination of grant amounts and qualifications.
CRRSAA includes two portions of funding related to higher education:
- The student portion of the award, set by the DOE, is $762,824. Unspent dollars of $36,900 is remaining in CARES funds and can now be distributed under the new CRRSAA rules. Student grants can be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health care) or child care. It is allowable with CRRSAA funding to apply grants to a student’s account as long as the student affirmatively opts in to this method of disbursement. International and DACA students are ineligible to receive grants from these funds. Awards do need to be prioritized for students with exceptional need. Coe plans to spend $799,724 in grants to students.
- The institutional portion of the award was $1,471,677. Report for institutional HEERF funds for the quarter ending 3.31.2021
All funds must be spent within a year of notification of the availability of funds.
- 1.08.21 | Email sent to students informing them Coe had been notified of the second round of relief for higher education institutions. The Department of Education had not yet released guidance on distribution or eligibility requirements.
- 1.17.21 | The college received notification that $762,824 was available to be issued to eligible students to offset the cost of attendance. The remaining undisbursed grant funds of $36,900 from CARES was added to the supplemental funding provided by CRRSAA bringing the total amount available for grants to students to $799,724.
- 3.12.21 | Email sent out to students to inform them the second round of HEERF grants was ready for disbursement and would begin to be distributed by 3/19/2021.
- 3.17.21 | First round of CRRSAA funds were disbursed to 713 full-time students in the amount of $675 for a total of $481,275.
- 3.24.21 | Second round of CRRSAA funds were disbursed to 505 full-time students in the amount of $625 for a total of $315,625. In addition, 14 part-time students received $200 grants totaling $2,800.
- Year-to-date the college has disbursed 1,232 grants totaling $799,700 to students.
- 4.20.21 | Voided five emergency grants issued to students in the amount of $500 each that remained uncashed from CARES funding. Total amount that remains to be distributed in emergency grants is $2,524.