CARES Act update released

CARES Act update released

08/06/2020 

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, SUNY Cortland converted all classes to online learning during the spring 2020 semester and also vacated the residence halls. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes universities to award emergency education financial aid grants (HEERF) 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. 

SUNY Cortland acknowledges an authorized representative of the institution has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and 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.

SUNY Cortland has received or will receive $3,122,569 of HEERF funds for student Aid from the Department of Education pursuant to the Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

SUNY Cortland has distributed $3,121,938.17 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of September 30, 2020.

SUNY Cortland has determined an estimated 5,600 number of students at the institution are 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.

1836 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the August 6, 2020.

Reporting:

30 day: 0 students received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 3, 2020

45 day: 1836 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students totaling $3,118,509.33 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 7, 2020.

3rd Quarter reporting: 1838 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students totaling $3,121,938.17 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of September 30, 2020.

SUNY Cortland has prioritized awarding of Emergency Financial Aid Grants to its students in the following manner (methodology)

SUNY Cortland will use a percentage model to distribute the funds between three different groups of students.

Priority 1, as defined in the April 23, 2020 guidance letter will be Title IV Pell recipients and students with expected family contribution equal or less than $5,576. SUNY Cortland will have a certification process for this priority group to verify funds will be used to cover cost associated with COVID-19.

90% of funding allocated to priority 1 group

Priority 2, will be Title IV eligible undergraduate students that have completed a 2019/20 FAFSA or will complete a 2020/21 FAFSA. This priority group will need to complete an application to request funds. SUNY Cortland will use a rubric in our review process that will give the highest priority to EFC, and second will be the circumstances describe in the application.

Priority 3, will be Title IV eligible graduate students that have completed a 2019/20 or will complete a 2020/21 FAFSA. The same application and rubric used for priority 2 will be required for this group.

10% of funding allocated to priority groups 2 & 3

SUNY Cortland developed the funds distribution formula based on our enrollment in the three different priority groups highlighted above, and believe this model would offer relief to those impacted by COVID-19.

Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, students received awards ranging from $630.82 to $1997.38

Based on guidance provided by the Department of Education, students must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to be eligible for emergency relief funding:

  • Be enrolled during the spring 2020 semester (on or after March 13, 2020)
  • Be eligible for federal Title IV aid as defined by Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965*
    • Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP);
    • Not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants;
    • Not be in default on a Title IV loan;
  • Not be matriculated in an exclusively online academic program
  • Have or will have allowable expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus  

*A valid FAFSA must be on file with the Financial Aid Office by June 1, 2020 to confirm Title IV aid eligibility


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