CARES Act/HEERF Student Emergency Grants

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27 to help mitigate the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CARES Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency funding to eligible institutions of higher education.  

The federal legislation stipulates that no less than 50% of the funds received by institutions of higher education must benefit students directly in the form of emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis.  

LFCC has received $2,319,604 in funds, and 50% of the funds ($1,159,802) received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act are being used to provide student emergency grants.  Disclosures on the status of the use of HEERF funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students can be found here.

What is the CARES Act/HEERF Student Emergency Grant?

The Cares Act/HEERF student emergency grant is aid in the form of direct payments to eligible students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, which may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

Who is eligible for a CARES Act/HEERF Student Emergency Grant?

Students must meet the following criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education and the Virginia Community College System:

  1. Student meets all Title IV eligibility criteria and is enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program as of Spring 2020
  2. Student was actively enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester as of March 13, 2020, the date of the National Emergency Declaration.
  3. Student must be enrolled half-time or greater, which means enrolled in at least six financial-aid eligible credits that were not exclusively online
  4. Student must be enrolled in an on-campus program and not taking all classes online
  5. Student’s FAFSA information must be below institution specified EFC ceiling

Based on the criteria above, there were 1,818 students at LFCC who met Criteria #1 – #4; however, 1,007 students met all 5 criteria and demonstrated the greatest financial need with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of less than $12,000. Therefore, 1,007 students at LFCC will receive an emergency grant in the amount of $1,150.

The LFCC Office of Financial Aid uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine student eligibility. If you believe you may be eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed one for 2019-20, please file your application at www.studentaid.gov

Why didn’t I receive a CARES Act/HEERF Student Emergency Grant?

Per the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education, students must meet Title IV eligibility requirements to receive a CARES Act/HEERF student emergency grant. Therefore, international and undocumented students are not eligible.

In addition, the Department of Education also specifies that students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs on March 13, the date of the National Emergency Declaration, are not eligible.

Non-matriculated students are not eligible. These are students who have not yet been accepted for admission to LFCC or have lost matriculated status by not enrolling in coursework for one term.

The LFCC Office of Financial Aid uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine student eligibility. If you believe you may be eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed one for 2019-20, please file your application at www.studentaid.gov

Is other financial assistance available?

If you are not eligible for the CARES Act/HEERF grant, LFCC may be able to help you identify other sources of aid or scholarships. We know that the income of many families may be in flux or there may be additional expenses due to COVID-19.

Please complete LFCC’s emergency fund online application to request help with your immediate needs and consider filing a Request for Review for other financial aid funds for longer term and future needs.

The LFCC Foundation is still accepting scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year. The easy, online application is at www.lfcc.edu/scholarships

When will the CARES Act/HEERF grants be distributed?

LFCC has submitted its grant application for funding from the federal CARES Act.  Once funding is received from the U.S. Department of Education, we will rapidly start distributing grants to students based on their eligibility.  We anticipate the grants will be disbursed during the week of June 1st.  Recipients will be notified via their MyLFCC Message Center.

Do I need to report financial aid or grants on my federal tax return?

Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have separate and unique tax consequences for your federal tax return. Visit the https://www.irs.gov/IRS website for assistance.

CARES Act Disclosures
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