What Is the HEERF?
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is part of the CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by Pres. Trump, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The HEERF provided funds to colleges based on enrollment and Pell Recipient count. Half of these funds were to be used in direct cash grants to students, half was available for institutional use related to pandemic-response costs.
What Is This Report?
Colleges that received HEERF funds are required to report on how they use the funds. The Department of Education instructed colleges to publish a report on their websites to provide this information. This page is GBSC’s report.
GBSC’s HEERF Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students
- GBSC signed and returned to the Department of Education the Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants for Students under the CARES Act.
- As required, GBSC has used 50% of the funds allocated to us under CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. This 50% was $77,498, 100% of which came from federal sources. In other words, as of 5/15/2020 GBSC has already distributed to students the entire amount allocated to us for this purpose.
- Based on GBSC records at the time of the distribution, we had 123 students who met the eligibility requirements, meaning they had both (a) demonstrated eligibility under Section 484 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and (b) Enrolled in campus classes (that is, not enrolled entirely online) on March 13, 2020. This number does not include students who are Title IV eligible but are enrolled entirely online, as GBSC was not allowed to award them funds from this grant. Additionally, 14 students may have been able to receive funds, but when contacted did not demonstrate that they qualified under Section 484 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, so GBSC could not award them funds.
- We determined that all eligible students enrolled in campus classes should receive funds because they were affected by the campus shutdown.
- We determined that commuter students were affected by losing access to campus high-speed Internet access; study space and utilities; and affordable meals at times convenient for class schedules. There were 22 eligible commuter students.
- We determined that campus residents were more affected than commuter students. In addition to the ways commuter students were affected, campus residents also immediately lost their primary housing and/or food provisions. There were 101 eligible campus resident students.
- All of those 123 students have been sent HEERF funds. Campus residents received $698.69. Commuter students received $315.03. Amounts were determined as explained below.
- 50% of the funds were equally divided among campus resident students, who were determined to be more affected by the shutdown.
- 50% of the funds were equally divided among all eligible students.
- In a cover letter to each student, we included the following information and guidance.
As you may know, the US Congress passed, and Pres. Trump signed the CARES Act to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the CARES Act is designated for financial aid for students who meet Title IV eligibility requirements, were taking classes on campus prior to the COVID-19 emergency and experienced expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.
Specifically, GBSC was given funds to award to students for expenses eligible under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
Because of your enrollment in campus courses, you had access to technology, affordable food, in-person library resources and some utilities, all of which are not available now on campus for you.