In late March, 2020 federal legislation was passed to provide economic relief to individuals and organizations dealing with the ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This legislation-titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act) established a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for colleges and universities in the United States. The following information is provided by Anoka-Ramsey Community College in response to the Department of Education's reporting requirements.
1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department 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.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College signed and submitted the Certificate and Agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 14, 2020. Anoka-Ramsey Community College has used and plans to use at least 50% of the total allocation for student emergency funds.
2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
On April 24, 2020, Anoka-Ramsey Community College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement to receive $1,790,488 in funding that will be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.
3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter, changed to quarterly reporting beginning on Sept. 30, 2020).
- $1,215,840 as of May 21, 2020
- $1,386,840 as of July 2, 2020
- $1,436,740 as of August 14, 2020
- $1,611,740 as of October 29, 2020
- $1,855,422 as of December 31, 2020 ($1,682,012 (student funds) and $173,410* (institutional funds)
- $1,845,780 as of March 31, 2021
- $1,845,780 as of June 30, 2021
*For more information on Institutional Funds reposting, see template above.
4. 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.
For awarding starting in fall term (2020-21 school year), this is calculated by adding the number of enrolled students for whom the institution has received an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) plus the number of students who completed an alternative application form and certified Title IV aid eligibility.
Based on student eligibility as initially defined in item 6, Anoka-Ramsey Community College identified 3,591 students as eligible for funds as part of the original distribution on May 5, 2020.
For the academic year 2020-21, using the calculation listed above, Anoka-Ramsey Community College identified 3,591 enrolled students as eligible for funds.
5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
3,591 students received Emergency Financial Aid Grants as part of the original distribution on May 5, 2020.
Additional distributions were made to students for emergency grants through application, and:
- 528 students were awarded emergency grants through application as of July 5, 2020
- 603 students were awarded emergency grants through application as of August 18, 2020
- 620 students were awarded emergency grants through application as of October 1, 2020
- 985 students were awarded emergency grants through application as of December 31, 2020
- 1,068 students were awarded emergency grants through application as of March 31, 2021
6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
The CARES Act directed that 50% of HEERF money must go toward emergency student financial assistance for expenses related to shifting from in-person to remote instruction. Eligibility requirements for this emergency assistance at the time of Anoka Technical College's initial distribution included enrollment in courses that were:
- In-person, face-to-face instruction (i.e., "ground-based" in federal terminology)
- Credit-earning (not an audited course)
- Continued through or started on or after the first Monday of Spring Break
To be eligible, students also could not have dropped, withdrawn, or had a Last Day of Attendance before March 13, 2020. Various restrictions on the use of these funds were established in the CARES Act and through regulatory direction from the federal Department of Education. These restrictions mean that several categories of students cannot receive emergency financial assistance, including:
- Current high school students (PSEO/Concurrent)
- Senior citizens who already receive a tuition discount
- DACA/DREAM Act Students
- Students with Employer-Paid Tuition (EPT) including tuition waivers
- Incarcerated students
- International students with an F1 Visa status in SEVIS
Anoka-Ramsey Community College issued emergency student financial assistance payments to eligible students on May 5, 2020 based on the criteria above. All students meeting the above criteria received a $116 CARES Base Award to help defray the cost of moving to remote instruction (e.g. internet and modem costs). All eligible students who received a Federal Pell Grant received an additional $284 CARES Supplemental Award.
Emergency Grants by Application
After the initial disbursement on May 5, 2020 students were encouraged to apply for funds through the existing Anoka-Ramsey Community College Emergency Grant Funds application process. Applications are reviewed for HEERF-allowable expenses, and students are confirmed to be Title-IV eligible.
Additional awards were made through the emergency grant application process.
Initially, student emergency grants of up to $500 were available with the ability to reapply every 30 days for a maximum total of $1,000per student, as funds were available. Students attending more than one Minnesota State college or university could only receive a CARES Base Award from one school.
Starting for the spring 2021 term, the maximum emergency grant was $500 with a total of $1,000 per student. Additional students are being funded through the institutional portion which can be found on the institutional funds quarterly report.
7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
There will be future communications going to students about the Anoka-Ramsey Cares Grant Emergency Funds.