Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant at Harper College provides emergency financial assistance to eligible students who are experiencing hardship that could adversely affect their academic success.
Harper College is grateful to be able to deliver extra financial assistance to qualified students during this difficult time. If you are a Harper student impacted by the College’s modified operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic response, you can receive an award of $625 for qualified expenses. Although this is federal grant funding, Harper is responsible for managing the approval and disbursement process. The funding is limited and will be awarded based on eligibility and need.
The main criteria for the grant were completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and no flags for all General Title IV eligibility requirements. Students must have been enrolled in the Spring 2020 term, met Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, and have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
Harper identified eligible students and sent an email to those students regarding the process for disbursement of CARES HEERF federal student aid. Students who incurred expenses after March 13, 2020, due to campus disruption and the transition to online learning, were eligible to receive $625. This lump sum funding amount was based on an equal distribution among eligible students.
Accepting the Funds
If students had expenses related to the transition to online learning, no action was necessary to confirm the funds.
If students did not incur expenses related to the transition to online learning, they were not eligible for CARES Act funding. These students were instructed to email firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel the emergency relief funding.
By accepting the funds, students confirmed that they incurred expenses after March 13, 2020, that were directly related to campus closure and transition to online learning due to coronavirus.
Any funds remaining after students decline to receive them was disbursed to other eligible students during the Summer 2020 term.
Receiving the Award
The funds were added to students’ Harper account beginning on Monday, May 11, 2020. Due to the volume of awards, it was expected to take approximately five weeks to complete all disbursements.
Students with direct deposit on file with the Harper College Business Office had their funds deposited directly into their bank accounts. New direct deposit enrollments were not accepted.
If students did not have direct deposit information already on file, they were instructed to verify their mailing address in the MyHarper portal and update it immediately.
Important Information About CARES Act Funding
The following contains important information regarding CARES Act funding. Any questions about CARES Act funding after reading this can be directed to the Harper One Stop at email@example.com or 847-925-6710.
- Receiving CARES Act funding will not impact your financial aid.
- Funds will be added to your Harper account and disbursed on Monday, May 11, 2020.
- If you have direct deposit already on file with the Harper Business Office, the funds will be deposited directly into your bank account.
- Funds cannot be applied toward your Spring 2020 tuition balance, so you will receive the CARES funding regardless of your tuition balance.
- Funds are not considered taxable income.
- Based upon our current understanding of the Act, you will not be required to submit documentation of expenses at this time. However, it is possible that we may contact you for documentation in the future.
Fund Allocation Reporting
Harper College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement that assures that Harper College 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.
Harper has received a combined total of $5,526,516 for both Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students and Institutional Costs. Half, or $2,763,258, is required to provide emergency financial aid grants directly to students.
As of January 7, 2021, Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to 4,407 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act for a total of $2,756,551. This data will be updated every quarter as required by DOE.