CRRSA Act 2021: HEERF II Emergency Grants for Students

Subvenciones de emergencia para estudiantes bajo la ley CRRSAA

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On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (P.L. 116-260). This new law gives the U.S. Department of Education over $21 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education so that they can serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colorado Mountain College received $3,735,220 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II), of which $847,334 is designated to be paid directly to students, as financial aid grants to support students who are struggling financially in the wake of the pandemic.

The remaining funds are designated for defraying expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll).

This law has some similarities—as well as important differences—from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was enacted on March 27, 2020. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSA Act requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding the financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that the financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.

The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on the distribution of these emergency grants to students. The grants can be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. By accepting HEERF (HEER2) funds (in CMC’s Basecamp Student Self Service), you as the student are agreeing to use the funds toward these costs. If they so choose, students may decline the grant. The grants may not fully cover the emergency expenses a student has incurred due to the pandemic.

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 exceptional financial need.

Awarding model: round 1 – 150% 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 and then refunding in the form of a direct payment to the student. 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 II Grant

CMC will award the first round of HEERF II Grants after the spring census date of February 9, 2021 (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 prior to Monday, March 22. By accepting HEERF funds (in CMC’s Basecamp Student Self Service), you as the student are acknowledging you will use funds toward your cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. Subsequent rounds of the awards may be offered in future semesters if funds are available.

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

  • CMC received an official 2020-2021 FAFSA and the corresponding Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is between $0-$8,570.
  • Enrolled in degree or certificate program for Spring 2021.
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours for Spring 2021.

During the 2021 spring semester, CMC determined that approximately 1,345 CMC students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, approximately 724 of whom met the above listed criteria and had a 2020-2021 EFC that qualified them for a grant in our awarding model (Round 1: EFCs $0-$8,570).

Additionally, the college’s required budget and expenditure reporting of its institutional portion will be posted here in the future.

Student appeal process

CMC used information from the 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 CRRSA Act/HEERF II Grant. If you did not receive an e-mail notification from the Office of Financial Aid and do not see the HEER2 emergency grant offered for you to accept and feel you qualify based on the eligibility criteria below please request an appeal.

  • Have you completed a 2020-2021 FAFSA and listed Colorado Mountain College’s school code 004506? If you have not, please complete this step first.
  • Are you enrolled in 6 credits in the spring 2021 term?
  • Are you enrolled in a degree or certificate program? Non-degree seeking students do not qualify.

If you meet the above criteria, please email finaid@coloradomtn.edu 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 II 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 2020-2021 FAFSA, will receive HEERF II grants until funds are depleted. Check your Financial Aid account on Basecamp Student Self Service to accept the award and acknowledge you will use funds toward your cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. 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?

Financial aid grants for students may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

How will I receive my HEERF II 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.

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 II 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 CRRSA Act emergency student grant funds for use at a later time?

The HEERF II Grants will be awarded the first week of March for the Spring 2021 Semester and transmitted on March 22, 2021 and refunded on March 24, 2021. CMC is disbursing all the funds associated with CRRSAA emergency student grant funds to students who are struggling financially in the wake of the 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 CRRSA Act funds. For additional information please visit Corona Virus Updates & Information and No Barriers Fund.

Do I have to repay a HEERF II Grant?

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

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