CARES Act Reporting & Compliance
While funds are available the grant application will open on the first day of each term. The closing date will be listed on the application and in all communication. The Summer 2021 application was opened on June 1, 2021 at closed at Noon on June 16, 2021
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency funding to higher education. Columbus State received a total award of $12,562,800. Half of the award, $6,281,400.00, was designated to go directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants (HEERF-student share) for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. The balance of these funds, the institutional share, also $6,281,400, is to be used by institutions for expenses related to the coronavirus.
CARES Act – HEERF-Student Share Reporting and Compliance
The U.S. Department of Education has stated that CARES Act funds can only go to students who are eligible to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, often referred to as FAFSA, and are enrolled in at least one class at Columbus State. Students who do not have a financial aid application on file with Columbus State, and are eligible to submit one, are encouraged to do so to receive CARES Act funds. Receiving CARES Act funds will not affect students’ current or future financial aid.
We strongly encourage all eligible students to apply for the student emergency relief grant. However, the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance regarding CARES Act funding means international, DACA, and undocumented students are not eligible to receive CARES Act funds.
The college used an application process to allow all students to request funds for a Student Emergency Relief Grant for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. In additional, students, in high-risk cohort groups who did not complete an application were auto awarded after the application periods closed. Grant amounts from CARES Act funding ranged from $100 - $1500.
Columbus State has reviewed all Spring 2020 student applications, and funds have been distributed to eligible recipients. One-thousand nine hundred and thirty (1,930) students received a total of $2,330,250.
The Summer 2020 application was available from 8:00 am on May 26, 2020 until noon on July 22, 2020. $2,442,000 was disbursed to 2,030 students.
The Autumn 2020 application was available from 8:00 am on August 31, 2020 until noon on October 5, 2020. $1,323,750 was awarded to 1,230 students. Grant amounts ranged from $500 - $1500.
In December an additional $432,900 was auto awarded to 2,886 eligible students in high-risk cohort groups.
As of December 2020, Columbus State Community College has directly awarded 5,688 unique students a total of 8076 awards totaling $6,528,900 in grants to cover student expenses for tuition, fees, and emergency relief.
The Spring 2021 application opened January 18, 2021. The remaining $351,125 of CARES Act Student Funds was disbursed to 686 eligible students. An additional 1,793 students were granted $895,725 from Institutional Funds.
As of the end of February 2021, Columbus State Community College disbursed all remaining Student CARES Act Funds and an additional $895,725 of Institutional Funds to students through a combination of application and auto-awards.
The Total number of grants provided directly to students from the CARES Act is 10,555 Grant amounts ranged from $100-$1500. The total amount is $7,775,750.00
CRSSA HEERF-Student Share Reporting and Compliance
Through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Columbus State Community College received a total award of $6,281,400 designated to go directly to students in the form of Student Emergency Relief Grants.
CRSSA differs from the HEERF I: Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) In that the original Department of Education Guidance, requiring that students must meet Title IV eligibility and explicitly prohibiting grants for DACA students, undocumented students, and International students was removed May 14, 2021. In addition, non-degree seeking, non-credit, dual enrollment, and continuing education students may now be eligible.
HEERF: Student Emergency Relief Grants (SERG) 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, physical/mental health care, or child care.
Columbus State Community College will continue to use a combination of application and auto award for the selection and distribution of these funds. CRRSA Act requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding the grants to students.
Auto awards will prioritize students with the greatest financial need.
In the application process, grant amounts will be determined by the emergency needs identified in the application, and number of credit hours a student is enrolled in at the time the application is reviewed. Applications will be accepted during set application periods. The application opening and closing dates, will be posted on the College website and shared with students through the Student News.
Through the general application process Grant amounts may range from $200-$1900. The application is processed by Student Advocacy and Financial Stability and Enrollment Services Operations. Payments are processed and disbursed by Cashiers and Student Accounting.
As of May 31, 2021, Two-thousand and eleven (2,011) students were awarded grants from CRSSA totaling $1,005,465.14. Grants ranged from $358-$699.
CARES Act – HEERF - Institutional Reporting and Compliance Notice
The institutional portion of the CARES Act HEERF funds, $6,281,400, is being used for eligible expenses related to the coronavirus. For the reporting period June 2, 2020 (the date of the award) through December 31, 2020, Columbus State has used $1,845,290.57 of the available award. The attached reports provide information on how these funds have been spent. The College is continuing to assess how the remaining funds will be utilized for eligible expenses as the coronavirus continues to impact the operations and delivery of services of the College. The College has, however, maximized other CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), awarded to the State of Ohio of which a portion have been passed through to Columbus State, having an earlier expiration date of December 30, 2020, while the HEERF funds can be used for up to twelve months from the date of award.
In addition, since Columbus State is a Title III institution, the College received an allocation of $629,165.00 for Strengthening Institutions. As of December 31, 2020, Columbus State had spent $213,777.90 of the award. These funds have been spent on lab fee expenses. The college did not charge students lab fees during Summer and Autumn semesters. Since lab fees were not charged, these are the expenses were not paid for with lab fee revenue. As with the funding above, the College is assessing how the funds will be utilized.
The quarterly expenditure reports can be found below:
- Columbus State submitted the signed Certification and Agreement for the student aid portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to the Department of Education on April 15, 2020. The Grant Award Notification was received on April 20, 2020. Columbus State intends to use at least 50 percent of its total CARES Act funds to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students.
- The total amount Columbus State received on April 20th pursuant to the Certification and Agreement was $6,281,400.00.
- As of the initial report date of May 15, 2020, Columbus State had awarded 1889 Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- The estimated total number of students at Columbus State eligible to participate in the CARES Act HEERF is between 8,000 to 9,000 students.
- The method Columbus State is using to determine which students will receive the grants funds is through an application process where students apply and certify they are eligible. Columbus State uses FAFSA data from completed 2019-20 or 2020-21 FAFSA applications. In addition to the FAFSA, we are using data from our student information system (Colleague) to verify additional eligibility requirements (e.g., program of study, alien status, etc.).
- Award amounts will vary.
- Instruction, directions and guidance provided to our students has been through this website: https://www.cscc.edu/services/essential-needs/emergency-assistance.shtml. In addition to the information posted on the web sites, an email was sent on 4/30/2020 to all students currently enrolled at that time for spring and/or summer semesters 2020. The link to the learn-on site was also on the main Blackboard page.