Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 

RCC recognizes that many of our students are experiencing expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. RCC received a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) grant created under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be used to help our students affected by the crisis. RCC will use these funds to provide one-time CARES Act Student Emergency Grants to eligible students.

In accordance with the CARES Act, only students who are Title IV eligible and not enrolled in a fully online program as of 3/13/2020 will receive funds. Approximately 75 percent of the funds were distributed to students whose Title IV eligibility had already been established in accordance with Section 484 of the Higher Education Act.

Note that the Department of Education required that these grants be sent directly to students and not be directed to any unpaid tuition account balances.

Eligibility Requirements set forth by the CARES Act and The Department of Education:

Funding provided to RCC under the CARES Act is available only to current RCC students who are Pell-eligible and have experienced increased eligible educational expenses due to the impact of COVID-19. Pell-eligible students must meet the following criteria to qualify for the one-time Student Emergency Grants:

  • Students were enrolled in at least one college credit class that was being delivered onsite at RCC on March 13, 2020 — the date of the National Emergency Declaration.
  • Students were NOT enrolled in all online course work as of 3/13/2020
  • Students were NOT dual enrollment students
  • Students had an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of $25,000 or less per the FAFSA

 

Availability of CARES Act Student Emergency Grants

In addition, funds are also available for the one-time Student Emergency Grants and are limited to students who meet certain criteria. Until funding is exhausted, RCC will award one-time CARES Act Student Emergency Grants up to $1,150 to eligible students. The same eligibility criteria will be used to determine grants as were used to calculate the initial disbursement (see above). Grants will be awarded to qualifying applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis until all funds are exhausted. Funds will be distributed to eligible students upon approval. These funds will be paid directly to the student and are not counted as part of the financial aid package. Apply now.

 

Questions regarding the Student Emergency Grants may be submitted to: financialaid@rappahannock.edu


Questions regarding the Student Emergency Grants may be submitted to: financialaid@rappahannock.edu

 

In accordance with the Announcement posted by the US Department of Education on May 6, 2020, Rappahannock Community College herein discloses the following required information pertaining to its use of HEERF funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Acknowledgement and Assurance

On June 10, 2020, Rappahannock Community College (RCC) received an allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act under Section 18004(a)(1) in the amount of $1,149,192. On April 27, 2020, RCC signed and returned to the Department of Education 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 College received at total of $574,596 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. The College was also allotted institutional funds in the amount of $574,596 as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Institutional Grant of the CARES Act. This allotment will be utilized in accordance with the CARES Act guidelines. Initial guidance states that these funds are to be directed toward costs associated with the significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. RCC spending of the institutional funds are noted in the following financial reports:

  • Spending through 9/30/20: PDF

Eligible Students and Total Awards Granted

The college distributed 75% (or $434,150) of the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 11, 2020.

The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 713. The total number of students that received funds as of June 12, 2020 is 415.

Method

RCC disbursed 75% of the funds, or $434,150, without further application to students whose Title IV eligibility had already been established in accordance with Section 484 of the Higher Education Act. In accordance with the CARES Act, RCC directed funds to students who demonstrated the most financial need as per the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file. The following additional criteria were used to determine funds disbursement:

  • Students were enrolled in at least one college credit class that was being delivered onsite at RCC on March 13, 2020 — the date of the National Emergency Declaration
  • Students were NOT enrolled in all online course work as of 3/13/2020
  • Students were NOT dual enrollment students
  • Students had an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of $25,000 or less per the FAFSA

The method used to determine how much students would receive under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act is as follows:

  • 85% (approximately) of the $434,150 was distributed to students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours in Spring Semester 2020. These students received awards of $1,150.
  • 15% (approximately) of funding was distributed to students enrolled in less than 6 credit hours in Spring Semester 2020. These students received a $400 award.

Funds were disbursed directly to students. If a student owed a balance to RCC, these funds were not applied to that balance. Disbursements were sent to students per their previously selected refund method (direct deposit or paper check).

Remaining Funds

The remaining approximately 25% of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants funding, or $140,446 will be disbursed on a case-by-case basis to applicants not fully meeting the model above but meeting Title IV and CARES Act requirements.

Informing Students

Students received guidance, instruction, and direction regarding the student grants and the availability of the emergency grants through the college’s website.  Additionally, eligible students received a communication through the student message center portal as well as an email communication.

For more information regarding requirements, see Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting- Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

Update on Emergency Grants to Students

RCC has received 310 emergency grant applications from students.  A committee including representatives from advising, financial aid, and the dean of student development will review applications for eligibility and to determine final awards.  Award decisions are anticipated by 7/30 for any applications received by 7/23.

Posted 6/12/2020

Updated 6/24/2020

Updated 7/23/2020

Of the applications received, Rappahannock Community College awarded an additional $54,250 in HEERF Emergency Students Grants to 55 eligible students who did not receive a prior award. The student’s emergency grant applications were reviewed for compliance to the established criteria noted above.   Students were notified of the award through the College’s message center on August 6, 2020 with electronic fund distribution the week of August 10, 2020. Additional funding still remains, students who have not yet received a grant and meet the criteria are encouraged to complete the Cares Act Emergency Grant Application at https://www.rappahannock.edu/cares-act.

Updated 8/10/2020