Federal grants for students affected by COVID-19

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) has created new financial challenges for many college students. In response, the federal government has set aside funds to provide direct support to students to help offset their expenses related to the outbreak. This fund is called the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Fund, though you may also hear it referred to as CARES, ARP, or CRRSAA Grants. 

As of Thursday, April 28, at 5:00 pm, the federal HEERF funds for emergency grants are exhausted, and the emergency grant application is closed.

If you have already submitted an application, it will be reviewed, and you will receive an email between May 5 and May 12 with your award status. We know this may prompt worries for many of you so please review this Student Resource list for other supports that may be of help to you.

For additional financial resources available to help you during this time, visit our Financial Wellness page.

General information about HEERF funding for students

What is the difference between CARES, CRRSAA, and HEERF? 

There is not a major difference between these terms. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020. It provided federal funding to support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That funding was largely exhausted by the end of 2020. In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was passed by Congress and signed into law to extend that support.  

Both CARES and CRRSAA provided federal funds specifically designated for higher education, disbursed through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).  

The biggest difference between CARES and CRRSAA is in timing: CARES provided funding mostly during 2020 and CRRSAA provides funding for 2021. However, there are other differences as well. Some of these changes affect who is and is not eligible for funding. This may mean that, while you were eligible for CARES funding, you might not receive CRRSAA funding; it might also mean that if you weren’t eligible for CARES funding, you are eligible for CRRSAA. In either case, if you are experiencing a financial crisis the best course of action is to fill out the Emergency Grant Application to see if you are eligible for funds.

Who is eligible for HEERF funds? Who is not eligible?

The following criteria must be met:  

  • Student must be currently enrolled at Clark College 
  • Student must be either
    • registered in a certificate- or degree-seeking program or 
    • participating in Running Start

The following kinds of students are not eligible:

  • Students taking only non-credit courses, such as those offered through Community and Continuing Education, unless those courses are a part of the student's program or degree requirements.
  • Members and family members of the Student Emergency Assistance Grants Committee

What kind of emergency can the fund be used toward? 

 Students can use HEERF funding for:

  • Housing/utilities  
  • Food 
  • Technology 
  • Books/Supplies 
  • Childcare 
  • Transportation  
  • Health care (including mental health care)
  • Other educational costs  

Will the fund be available for future term(s)?

We anticipate funding being available into the beginning of the 2022 spring term. Funds are limited and we cannot predict exactly when they might run out.

How do students apply for HEERF funding? 

Clark College has created one centralized application process for all our emergency grants, including the CARES Act.  

The Emergency Grant application process for each term begins two weeks before the first day of the term and ends on the last day of classes. View our academic calendar to find the beginning and end of each term.

What is the awarding process?

Once an application is submitted, a committee will review your request and may reach out to you if additional information is needed.  

If your request is approved, the funds will be disbursed to you either by check or electronic transfer through BankMobile. You also have the option to apply your funds directly to any outstanding balance on your student account. Awards will begin being released after the 10th day of the term. (For the 2022 spring term, that date is April 18.)

HEERF emergency grants will not be counted toward your Estimated Financial Aid, nor do you have to count the money as taxable income on your tax return. 

How much can students receive?

  • Students may receive up to $2,500 per term.
  • Students attending Clark for three terms or fewer are limited to $6,500 total from HEERF funding in one academic year.
  • Students attending Clark for four terms in one academic year are limited to $8,000 total in HEERF funding during one academic year. 

Please note: If a student received an emergency grant of $2500 in the 2021 summer term and $2500 in the 2021 fall term, the maximum they could receive in the 2022 winter term would be $1500, due to annual maximums based on terms attending. If the student also attends in the 2022 spring term, the maximum they could receive that term would be $1500.

  • Running Start students have different funding limits: 
    • $1,000 per term
    • $4,000 per academic year

The total amount of funding will depend on a student’s expense(s) related to emergency costs due to COVID-19, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or childcare. 

When students complete and submit the Clark College Emergency Grant Application, a committee will verify the student’s eligibility, completeness of the application, and determine the student’s emergency need based on what is indicated on the application. The college also reserves the right to ask for further documentation if needed.

If you need additional funds beyond the HEERF III maximum of $2,500, other funding sources through donations made through Clark College Foundation and from community organizations may be available but are very limited. You will have an opportunity to make your request for additional funds during the application process. These funds can affect financial aid packages and may require expense documentation from the applicant, such as a rental agreement or utility statement. Some funds may send their payments directly to the vendor (such as your property manager, landlord, or health care provider). 

Why was my application denied this time, when I’ve received funding in the past or a classmate had their application accepted? 

 

There are a few reasons why this might occur. These include: 

  • Changes in eligibility rules: There are differences between the CARES and CRRSAA laws that change who can receive funding and how colleges should prioritize funding.  
  • No funds available: Only a certain amount of funding is released each term. If funding has run out for the current term, you are encouraged to re-apply the following term, when new funding is released. We anticipate funding being available into the beginning of the 2022 spring term. However, funds are limited and we cannot predict exactly when they might run out.
  • Funding limits: If you have already received funding, it’s possible you have already received the maximum amount of emergency funding allowed for this term and/or academic year. 
    • Students attending Clark for three terms or fewer are limited to $6,500 total from HEERF funding in one academic year.
    • Students attending Clark for four terms in one academic year are limited to $8,000 total in HEERF fuding during one academic year.
    • Please note: If a student received an emergency grant of $2500 in the 2021 summer term and $2500 in the 2021 fall term, the maximum they could receive in the 2022 winter term would be $1500, due to annual maximums based on terms attending. If the student also attends in the 2022 spring term, the maximum they could receive that term would be $1500.

    • Running Start students have different funding limits:

      • $1,000 per term

      • $4,000 per academic year

Even if you do not receive an emergency grant this term, you can still make use of the many Student Supports available to Clark College students.

Who  can answer questions about HEERF funding ?  

Email Emergency Grant Committee members at SEAG@clark.edu.

Student portion required reporting - ARP/HEERF III 

View the college's reports as PDFs:

Student portion required reporting - CRRSAA/HEERF II 

View the college's reports as PDFs:

Student portion required reporting -- CARES Act/HEERF I 

View the college's reports as PDFs:

Institutional portion required reporting – HEERF I, II, III

Institutional CARES Quarterly Reports

March 31, 2022
December 31, 2021
September 30, 2021
June 30, 2021
March 31, 2021
September 30, 2020
December 31, 2020

About the CARES Act 

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed which is a $2 trillion assistance package providing $30.75 billion for an Educational Stabilization fund. Within the Educational Stabilization fund, four grants were created:

  1. Educational Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants 
  2. Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund 
  3. Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, and
  4. the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

The HEERF provides $14.25 billion in funds to institutions of higher education. Of the amount allocated to each institution, at least 50 percent of the funds received under Sections 18004(a) (1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act must be reserved to provide direct support in the form of emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare. The other 50 percent of the HEERF can cover an institution’s costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to COVID-19. 

 

HEERF funding during the 2022 spring term

How is HEERF funding different during the 2022 spring term than in previous terms?

The federal funding that made HEERF-supported emergency grants possible is nearly exhausted, and Congress has not indicated that it will be renewing this source of funding. As a result, this is likely the last term we will be able to distribute HEERF-supported emergency grants, and the amount of funds available is very low.

Why is this happening?

The COVID-19 pandemic created a situation of unprecedented need among our students. Between spring 2020 and winter 2022 of this year, the college has disbursed millions in federal funding to Clark students experiencing a wide range of financial crises, from job loss to hospital bills. While the federal government has provided these grants, they are now nearly exhausted.

Should I apply for an emergency grant for spring term?

You can still fill out the Emergency Grant Application, once it opens, and the college will fund students with the remaining federal HEERF funds left availabe. However, we ask that only those students facing a true financial emergency so that we can serve students with the greatest need. 

Once federal HEERF funds are exhausted, we will try to match you with state grant programs or community resources that can help you. Please understand that state grants affect your financial aid package.

When will the spring term Emergency Grant Application be open?

The application will open on March 22 at 9:00 a.m. It will most likely close early since funds are so limited. Please only apply once and look for a confirmation email that itwas submitted successfully. Occasionally, this email will go to spam so please look for it or email SEAG@clark.edu if you are having difficulty submitting the application.

How soon will I know if I get a grant?

Once your online application is submitted, you will receive an email, letting you know that we’ve received your application. A second email will be sent between April 18 and May 2, letting you know of your status once we are able to review applicants, which will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. We will also email students who are not eligible for the federal HEERF grant. Please do not depend on a federal HEERF grant award spring term, as they are very limited.

How soon will federal HEERF grant awards go out?

We will be reviewing applications as they are submitted. We will not be communicating your eligibility status nor disbursing any awards until after April 18. If a student indicates on their application, that their award should be applied towards their outstanding spring balance at Clark College, we will place a "hold" on your account, so you won’t be dropped from classes. 

We strongly recommend that you not depend on federal HEERF funds during spring term as, they are extremely limited, and not all students will receive an award.

Will there be any emergency grant funding beyond spring term?

While the federal HEERF grant will not be available beyond early spring term 2022, there are some other sources of funding available through generous donors to the college. Some of them are limited to serving specific populations. These include eligible military veterans and dependents, Native American students, LGBTQIA+ students, Dreamer (DACA) students, students who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, and low-income students. If you are eligible for any of these state grants, you will be contacted by email.

What do I do if I am experiencing a financial crisis now and funds are not available to me?

Please visit our Financial Wellness page for a list of resources that could be of help. 

 

This page was last updated March 16, 2022 at 10:05 a.m.