Congress recently passed the CARES Act, which is a federal stimulus package meant to ease economic burdens related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal legislation provides funds to Colleges and Universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The funding is intended to provide direct emergency grants to students to assist with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
Union College submitted a signed Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education on April 10, 2020 assuring the Department of the College’s intent to distribute no less than 50% of its total allotment under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Eligible students were chosen to receive these emergency funds based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education along with Union’s need-based financial aid awarding policies. Students who received the CARES Act emergency grants met the following criteria:
- Were enrolled in the winter 2020 term when the disruption of campus operations occurred and continue to be enrolled for the spring term;
- Qualify for Title IV federal student aid. The criteria to participate in Title IV programs include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service if required; and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting; and
- Currently receive need-based scholarship or grant assistance.
The grants will be distributed to eligible students to assist with expenses such as moving, housing, food, technology, or other costs related to the ongoing pandemic.
The total funding to Union College allocated through the CARES Act is $1,159,940. Fifty percent of that amount, $579,970, will be distributed in the form of emergency grants to students. The remainder of the CARES Act funding or the Institutional portion is intended to offset the College’s loss of revenue and increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 1,250 students at the College are eligible to participate in programs under the Federal Title IV financial aid. Of those students, 994 meet the additional required criteria to qualify for a CARES Act emergency grant. All 994 eligible students will receive an equal distribution of the CARES Act funds in the amount of $575.
On or after March 27, 2020, several students received institutionally funded assistance as a result of the pandemic and disruption of campus operations. Approximately 70 students received such emergency funding from the College. The balance of $8,420 remaining in the CARES Act fund will be used to reimburse the College for those expenditures.
Spending to date:
May 21, 2020 $571,550
July 1, 2020 $579,970