CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students

Subvenciones de emergencia para estudiantes bajo la ley CARES 


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was approved by Congress and includes support for higher education, including emergency grants for students facing expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Colorado Mountain College received $1,694,667 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), of which $847,334 is designated for emergency grants to be paid directly to students. The remaining funds are designated for use by the institution to cover unexpected expenses, such as the pro-rated refunds for room, board and other expenses. (CMC signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.)

The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on the distribution of these emergency grants to students. The grants must be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). By accepting HEERF funds (in CMC’s Basecamp Student Self Service), you as the student are affirming you had expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. If a student feels they did not experience a disruption, they may decline the grant. The grants may not fully cover the expenses a student has incurred due to the disruption.

CMC will utilize the schedule below for selection and distribution of funds, based on the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a result of their FAFSA. The college selected this tiered approach to provide awards to our students who demonstrated the most need.

Awarding Model: Round 1 – 250% of Pell Eligibility, Round 2 – 358% of Pell Eligibility

Credit Hours Attempted at Determination Date Award Value
6-8 $900
9-11 $1,200
12 or more $1,500

We will be awarding through financial aid and disbursing directly to students via their CMC student account. The grant will not be applied to or used to offset any charge, debt, tuition, fees, or other balance in a student account, nor will it be encumbered in any manner by CMC. Eligibility for the grant will not be impacted by any previous waiver of tuition, fees or books for the summer semester.

Students enrolled in direct deposit will have access to the funds directly through their enrolled bank account. For those not enrolled in direct deposit, the Student Accounts office will issue a check and mail it to the preferred mailing address on CMC record.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grant

CMC will award the first round of HEERF Grants after the summer census date of June 3, (the date that marks 15% of instruction for the semester), and will only transmit aid to those students who have been offered and accepted the HEERF award by Monday, June 15. By accepting HEERF funds (in CMC’s Basecamp Student Self Service), you as the student are affirming you had expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Subsequent rounds of the awards will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are distributed to eligible students.

To qualify for the grant, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet Title IV Federal Financial Aid eligibility criteria.
  • CMC received an official 2019-2020 FAFSA or 2020-2021 FAFSA with a corresponding financial aid file complete date on record.
  • Continued enrollment in degree or certificate program.
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours. (For summer students, this will be determined on June 3. For spring 2020 students who are enrolled for fall 2020 courses, this will be determined as of the last day of the spring 2020 semester.)
  • Maintain CMC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

During the 2020 spring semester, CMC determined that approximately 2,385 CMC students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, many of whom met the above listed criteria and had a 2019-2020 EFC or 2020-2021 EFC that qualified them for a grant in our awarding model (Round 1: EFCs $0-$13,940, Round 2: EFCs $0-$20,000). By the end of 2020, the institution had received a total of 2,712 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIR). As of December 3, 2020, CMC had transmitted all $847,334 to 653 eligible students. Additionally, through the end of December 31, 2020, Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) funds were used to transmit a total of $7,966 to 7 eligible students.

Additionally, the college’s quarterly budget and expenditure reporting of its institutional portion are here:

Student Appeal Process

CMC used information from the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) already on file for students to determine eligibility and to award the student portion of the CARES Act/HEERF Grant. If you did not receive an e-mail notification from the Office of Financial Aid and do not see the HEERF emergency grant offered for you to accept on either your 2020 spring or 2020 summer financial aid awards and feel you qualify based on the eligibility criteria below please request an appeal.

  • Have you completed a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA and listed Colorado Mountain College’s school code 004506? If you have  not, please complete this step first. CMC is unable to award any Cares Grant funds to students who  have not  completed the FAFSA and completed verification requirements, if selected.
    • Note to be considered for Federal Aid for the summer 2020 term please fill out the 19/20 FAFSA. For the fall 2020 and spring 2021 term, please complete the 20/21 FAFSA.
  • Are you a continuing student who was enrolled in 6 credits or more in the spring 2020 term AND are enrolled fall 2020?
  • Are you a continuing student who was enrolled in 6 credits or more and withdrew in the spring 2020 term AND are enrolled fall 2020?
  • Are you enrolled in 6 credits in the summer 2020 term?
  • Students who are academically suspended from CMC or are failing financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, do not qualify.
  • Are you enrolled in a degree or certificate program? Non-degree seeking students do not qualify.
  • Did you experience expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19?

If you meet any of the above criteria please email to request the appeal. Please include your full name and CMC student ID number in the email. Please note we can only communicate with you through your CMC assigned email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to apply for the HEERF Grant?

No. Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need as listed above, according to the 2019-2020 FAFSA or the 2020-2021 FAFSA, will receive HEERF grants. Check your Financial Aid account on Basecamp Student Self Service to accept the award and acknowledge you have had a disruption due to the coronavirus. Once awarded, notifications will also be sent to your CMC email if you meet the criteria.

What kind of expenses can I use this grant for?

Funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, tuition, fees, or childcare.

How will I receive my HEERF Grant?

For students who have signed up for direct deposit, funding will be sent to the student’s financial institution via an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). For students who have not enrolled in direct deposit, checks will be mailed via USPS to their preferred address on file with the college.

I was enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, am I eligible to receive the HEERF Grant?

No. Students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs on March 13 (the date of President Trump's national emergency proclamation) are not eligible for HEERF-student share funds, per the Department of Education.

How do I sign up for Direct Deposit?

​To sign up for Direct Deposit, you will log into Basecamp, scroll down to the Self Service menu, and select WebAdvisor. You will need to log in again to WebAdvisor, then select Students and Bank Information, where you can add, delete or edit your direct deposit information. Colorado Mountain College encourages students to sign up for direct deposit. An email will be sent to you when the direct deposit has been initiated and submitted to the banking system. Please allow 48 hours from the time you receive the email to the time your funds are available.

If I receive a grant and have an outstanding balance, will the funds be applied to those charges?

No. These funds will be sent directly to you regardless of your account standing and will not remain on your student account.

Will the HEERF Grant impact my financial aid award at CMC?

No. These funds do not impact your current award package now or any future financial aid awarded. Please note this is a one-time grant.

Is CMC reserving any CARES Act emergency student grant funds for use at a later time?

The HEERF Grants will be awarded in rounds on a first-come, first-served basis until all of the funds have been disbursed to students. The first round will be transmitted on June 16, 2020 and refunded on June 17, 2020. CMC is disbursing all the funds associated with CARES Act emergency student grant funds now to address the pressing financial need of eligible students due to the disruption of on-campus operations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMC is committed to assisting you now and in the future and has additional funds, supported by private donations, to support a broader range of students with demonstrated financial need, including international students and others who are ineligible to receive CARES Act funds. For additional information please visit No Barriers Fund.

Do I have to repay a HEERF Grant?

No. These are grant funds and do not require repayment.

Where can I find additional information on CARES and HEERF?

DOE Frequently Asked Questions
IRS FAQ information
NASFAA COVID-19 Reference Page