CARES Act Grant Funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is an economic stimulus package that was signed into law by the United States Congress on March 27, 2020 to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. While the CARES Act is a widely impacting package of $2 trillion, a portion of the funds (roughly $14 billion) were allocated toward higher education in the form of emergency student grants to students and financial support for schools during this pandemic. Of the higher education allocation, funds are given to schools for the following purposes:

  1. Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF)
    1. Emergency Financial Aid Grant for Students
    2. Institutional financial support to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus” disruption.
  2. Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI)
  3. Grants to institutions particularly impacted by a coronavirus, to be administered through FIPSE.

*Priority of these grants goes to small institutions who received less than $500,000 under the HEERF formula and MSI grants and still have significant unmet needs.

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

45-Day Fund Report

The University of Hawai‘i (UH), including Kapi‘olani Community College, provided emergency financial grants to students in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 to address unexpected financial hardships caused by the coronavirus and disruptions to their education and lives. The federal CARES Act supported emergency assistance directly to students who meet federal eligibility requirements (described below). The UH Urgent Student Relief Fund provided financial assistance for unplanned emergency expenses. The Urgent Student Relief Fund is supported by generosity of UH and UH Foundation donors.

Below is Kapi‘olani Community College’s report on administration of the federal CARES Act, Emergency Financial Aid Grants for students.

An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  • The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) provides funding for colleges to give Emergency Financial Aid Grants to currently enrolled students who had “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.”
  • On 4/25/2020, Kapi‘olani Community College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education, acknowledging its intent to use no less than 50% of funds received under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification of Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

  • Kapi‘olani Community College received $1,011,471 under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

  • Based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education, “only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants.” Also, U.S. Department of Education excluded students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs.

Fall 2020 CARES COVID Stipend Program: As of August 18, 2020, 1069 students at Kapi’olani Community College were identified as eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1), based on their Title IV eligibility, being enrolled in programs that are not exclusively online, and meeting the Fall 2020 CARES COVID Stipend criteria. The method by which Fall 2020 Stipend Program was determined is outlined below.

The total amount of emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission

  • As of August 18, a total of $604,900 was distributed to students at Kapi‘olani Community College. This figure includes awards made for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

  • As of August 18, 2020, 1421 students at Kapi‘olani Community College received emergency financial aid grants. This figure includes awards made for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.

The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

Method by which Title IV Eligibility was Determined:

For Fall 2020, UHCCs provided a CARES COVID Support Stipend of $500 for students continuing from Spring 2020 to Fall 2020. No application was required. The stipend provides financial support to cover expenses associated with the shift to remote learning.

The UH System Financial Aid Office identified the criteria, and the System Institutional Research, Analysis and Planning Office and UHCC Academic Affairs Office prepared the list of eligible students.

Criteria:

  • Enrolled at one or more of the UH Community Colleges in Spring 2020 at census date
  • Classified student enrolled in at least 6 credits at one of more of the UH Community Colleges in Fall 2021 by July 31, 2020
  • Submitted a 2020-21 FAFSA by July 31, 2021
  • Not enrolled in a fully online degree program
  • Title IV eligible*
  • Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress

*Title IV eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen, a valid Social Security Number, registration with Selective Service (if student is male), and a high school diploma, GED or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting

Method by which the Emergency Financial Aid Grants implementation was Determined:

Kapi’olani Community College offered $500 grants to all students who met eligibility criteria as of August 18, 2020.

Factors considered in determination of grant recipients and amounts for Fall 2020:

  • Effort to help students enrolled during the pandemic to continue into Fall 2020
  • $500 stipend was intended to help cover costs related to shift to online learning. The amount was based on estimate of high speed internet for five months
  • Addresses one of greatest challenges identified by Spring students (internet connection)
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
  • Information about the Emergency Financial Aid grants was available online at the UH Community Colleges’ website:  www.uhcc.hawaii.edu/cares. Students also had access to an email account for questions related to the stipend: ccaid@hawaii.edu
  • Eligible students were sent a personal email notification in mid-July. Awards were made in August 2020 and email notifications with payment details were sent to students’ UH email address. Payments were made directly to students regardless of outstanding balances or financial obligations. 

30-Day Fund Report

The University of Hawai‘i (UH), including Kapi‘olani Community College, provided emergency financial grants to students in April and May 2020 to address unexpected financial hardships caused by the coronavirus and disruptions to their education and lives. The federal CARES Act supported emergency assistance directly to students who meet federal eligibility requirements (described below). The UH Urgent Student Relief Fund provided financial assistance for unplanned emergency expenses. The Urgent Student Relief Fund is supported by the generosity of UH and UH Foundation donors.

Below is Kapi‘olani Community College’s report on the administration of the federal CARES Act, Emergency Financial Aid Grants for students.

An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  • The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) provides funding for colleges to give Emergency Financial Aid Grants to currently enrolled students who had “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.”
  • On 4/25/2020, Kapi‘olani Community College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education, acknowledging its intent to use no less than 50% of funds received under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification of Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

  • Kapi‘olani Community College received $1,011,471 under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

  • Based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education, “only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants.” Also, U.S. Department of Education excluded students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs.
  • As of May 4, 2020, 1,650 students at Kapi‘olani Community College were identified as eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1), based on their Title IV eligibility and being enrolled in programs that are not exclusively online.

The total amount of emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission

  • As of May 20, 2020, $70,400 was distributed to students at Kapi‘olani Community College.

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

  • As of May 20, 2020, 352 students at Kapi‘olani Community College received emergency financial aid grants.

The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

Method by which Title IV Eligibility was Determined:

The UH System Financial Aid Office identified the criteria, and the System Institutional Research, Analysis and Planning Office and UHCC Academic Affairs Office prepared the list of eligible students. Eligible students were the ones who are:

  • Enrolled (as of 5/4/2020)
  • Not enrolled in a fully online program
  • Submitted FAFSA, 2019-20 or 2020-21
  • Title IV eligible (valid ISIR, verification of high school diploma or equivalency, Statement of Educational Purpose, completed verification process if selected)
Method by which the Emergency Financial Aid Grants implementation was Determined:

Kapi‘olani Community College offered $200 grants to all students who met eligibility criteria as of May 4, 2020.

Factors considered in the determination of grant recipients and amounts for Spring 2020:

  • Number of Classified students enrolled in Spring 2020
  • Percent and Number of CARES-eligible students
  • Administrative considerations to award Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students as efficiently and quickly as possible, especially given that there was not much time between U.S. Department of Education’s award of funds and the last day of the term
  • Students’ declaration that they incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
  • Information about the Emergency Financial Aid grants was available online at the UH Community Colleges’ website: www.uhcc.hawaii.edu/cares.
  • Eligible students received a personal email notification regarding their eligibility and a link to the online form to request funds if they had incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus

Due to the stringent eligibility requirements of the CARES Act Emergency Financial aid Grant for students, the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu has identified all currently eligible students for these funds and sent each student a corresponding link to the apply for the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants through their university email account.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Institutional Portion

Kapi‘olani Community College has been awarded $1,011,471 from the U.S. Department of Education authorized by Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Pursuant to Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act, these funds may be used to cover any costs associated with a significant change to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus–Including expanding remote learning programs, building IT capacity to support such programs, and training faculty and staff to operate effectively in a remote learning environment. Additionally, these funds may be used to expand support for students with the most significant financial needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as course materials, technology, health care, childcare, food, and housing.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Minority Serving Institutions

Kapi‘olani Community College has been allocated $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Education authorized by Section 18004(a)(2) and Section 18004(a)(3) of the CARES Act. These funds may be used to defray institutional expenses, which under Section 18004(a)(2) and Section 18004(a)(3) may include lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with the transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll. Additionally, these funds may also be used for grants to *eligible students for any component of the student’s cost of attendance, including tuition, course materials, and technology.

*Students must be eligible to receive Federal financial student aid under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

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