Final Quarterly Report
In accordance with Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”), The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) contained in Section 18004 of the CARES Act, and the guidance issued by the United States Department of Education, including Office of Postsecondary Education’s guidance dated May 6, 2020, Allegheny College submits this report concerning the first award Allegheny College received under the HEERF consisting of funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
1. Acknowledgement of Funding and Certification
Allegheny College reviewed, signed and returned the U.S. Department of Education’s Certification and Agreement for these funds on April 14, 2020. Allegheny College received a grant award notification on April 23, 2020. As required by the certification, Allegheny College used no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants directly to students.
2. Funds Awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students
Allegheny College received $871,541 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act designated for distribution to students impacted by campus disruptions due to COVID-19.
3. Emergency Financial Aid Grants Distributed to Students to Date Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act
Of the $871,541 Allegheny College received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act designated for distribution to students impacted by campus disruptions due to COVID-19, Allegheny College had distributed $803,312.76 as of March 31, 2021, and an additional $68,228.24 as of June 30, 2021, bringing the total to $871,541.
4. Eligible Students
Allegheny College has had approximately 1,850 students as of the date of this report who may be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by filing a valid FAFSA for the 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 academic year and, thus, may be eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
5. Eligible Students Receiving CARES Act Aid
Allegheny College has distributed funds it received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act designated for distribution to students impacted by campus disruptions due to COVID-19. A total of 1,250 awards were given to 1,003 eligible students as of June 30, 2021. Some students received multiple awards.
6. Distribution Method
Funds Already Distributed
In order to qualify for Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, Allegheny College students must first be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and incur expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Of those students who qualified, Allegheny College chose to provide an initial disbursement of Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students who qualified for needs-based room and board grants under Allegheny’s internal criteria because it determined those students were most in need and incurred COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses following the loss of on-campus room and board.
In order to calculate these students’ COVID-19-related expenses, Allegheny College used its institutional policy for estimating needs-based commuter student room and board costs for the remaining 40% of the spring semester. This calculation resulted in an Emergency Financial Aid Grant maximum award of $800 per student.
In order to distribute this grant as expeditiously as possible, beginning on April 13, 2020, Allegheny College provided Emergency Federal Aid Grant relief to students in the same manner as it had previously provided institutional need-based aid, through students’ online accounts. Because Allegheny College began providing qualifying relief funds to qualifying students prior to Allegheny College’s receipt of any CARES Act funding, in accordance with United States Department of Education guidance, Allegheny College reimbursed itself from a portion of the CARES Act funding it received in the amount it advanced to its students in accordance with the above methodology.
Allegheny College had originally reserved $186,192 for eligible students who incurred other additional expenses related to the disruption of on-campus instruction as a result of COVID-19. Students could apply for this reserve amount in Emergency Financial Aid Grants for students under Section 18004(a)(1) by using Allegheny College’s Success Grant application that is available on the Allegheny College Dean of Students webpage. As of March 31, 2021, Allegheny College still had $68,228.24 in reserve from the CARES Act funding. At that time, the college also identified 45 students who met the criteria established for the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) funding granted to Allegheny College. Because there was not enough CRRSAA funding available for those 45 students, per the guidance for the CRRSAA funding, Allegheny College awarded $58,500 of the remaining $68,228.24 from the reserved CARES Act funding to the 45 students meeting the established CRRSAA funding requirements, which can be found under the distribution method in section 6 of the Allegheny College CRRSAA Student Aid Report — June 11, 2021. The remaining $9,728.24 CARES Act reserved funding was awarded to students who had experienced unusually difficult financial hardship during the pandemic. As of June 30, 2021, the balance in the reserve for eligible students is $0.
7. Communication to Students Concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants
All students who were enrolled in the 2020 spring semester, as well as those enrolled in the 2020 fall semester, were notified of the opportunity to apply for this funding via email. Students were asked to include in the application the amount and brief description of the expense incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was used to determine an award amount. For students already issued Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1), the expense must have been in addition to the expense for which they already received funds.