Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) provides U.S. colleges and universities with funds to address needs created by the coronavirus pandemic. The funding was announced by the U.S. Department of Education in two phases:
- Phase 1 funding is commonly called the “student portion.” This phase was, as required by the law, strictly devoted to student emergency grants. I wrote to you on May 5, 2020 about these emergency grants. These grants were designated to eligible EGSC students enrolled in Spring Semester 2020, Maymester 2020 and Summer Semester 2020. (see summary below).
- Phase 2 is commonly called the “institutional portion.” The law allows these funds to be used to address certain college needs created by the pandemic. This letter, in addition to summarizing how phase 1 funds were used, describes how these phase 2 funds will be used. EGSC, as described below, has chosen to use these funds to meet 6 specific needs, including smaller, additional student emergency grants for eligible fall 2020 students.
FIRST PHASE OF CARES ACT FUNDING PROVIDED STUDENT EMERGENCY GRANTS IN MAY 2020
On May 5, 2020, I wrote to you about the first phase of CARES Act funding to colleges and universities across the United States. That first wave of funding, which was announced on April 09, 2020, allocated funds to colleges and universities to provide emergency aid to college students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Each college and university receiving these funds was required to prepare its own plan describing how these funds will be used to meet emergency needs of students, subject to US Department of Education guidelines. The plan that EGSC created for the use of the CARES funds was submitted to and approved by the USG to ensure it was in conformity with federal guidelines. My May 05, 2020 described EGSC’s plan to you:
“Not all students will receive these funds. The federal guidelines mandate that these funds be distributed only to students who are or could be eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs (Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended) Eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs for this academic year require students to complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA. This FAFSA may be filed until June 30, 2020.
EGSC’s plan will make funds available to eligible EGSC students enrolled in Spring Semester 2020, Maymester 2020 and Summer Semester 2020.
Funds will be distributed directly to students using EGSC’s financial aid refund process, Bank Mobile, to be used as the student deems necessary to cover expenses related to the disruption caused by COVID-19 and the transition to wholly online schedules. The student will not be required to report to EGSC or account for the expenditure of the emergency funds.”
SECOND WAVE OF CARES OF FUNDING WILL ENABLE EGSC TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL STUDENT EMERGENCY GRANTS IN FALL 2020 AND TO MEET INSTITUTIONAL NEEDS
On April 21, 2020, a second wave of CARES Act funding was announced. A smaller, additional amount of CARES act funding was also announced for Minority Serving Institutions. Funds from these sources must be used to address needs directly related to coronavirus.
Again, each college and university receiving these funds was required to prepare its own plan describing how these funds will be used to address needs directly related to the coronavirus pandemic, subject to US Department of Education guidelines.
EGSC has adopted a plan which provides for the use of the second wave of funding for six important purposes:
- Transmit emergency funds to EGSC students with demonstrated need;
- Initiate a laptop loaner program to increase technology access among EGSC students;
- Increase online tutoring services to ensure student success;
- Purchase virtual classroom technology for hybrid classes in Fall 2020;
- Enhance EGSC’s network capacity to address significantly increased utilization by EGSC students and faculty for accessing EGSC’s online courses in Georgia View D2L Brightspace system and other EGSC online academic systems and services; and
- Reimburse the institution for amounts refunded to students during the COVID-19 crisis.
The exact amount of the Fall 2020 student emergency grants cannot be calculated until fall semester arrives and we know the exact number of eligible students. Students that received awards in Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020 and re-enroll for Fall 2020 and are Title IV eligible with a current FAFSA on file will receive an award. You may click here to see detailed information about which students will be eligible and how their grants will be calculated.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Bob Boehmer, President
East Georgia State College