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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law (Pub. L. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020) and established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for colleges to distribute emergency financial aid grants to students and institutions of higher education.

Emergency Financial Aid for Students: Disbursement Plan

The U.S. Department of Education (“USDOE”.) has allocated $1,057,016.00 to North Georgia Technical College (“the college”) for these emergency financial aid grants to students. The college has signed and returned to the USDOE the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds allocated under Section 18804(a)(1) of the CARE Act for students. These funds, provided directly to students, are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid (Title IV) funding can be considered for the HEERF. Information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be used to determine eligibility for Emergency Grant Funds.

Student Eligibility:

  • Active enrollment on March 13, 2020 for a minimum of one (1) credit hour in a Title IV eligible program that leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree
  • Have completed a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 aid year with all C codes on FAFSA cleared
  • Have a FASFA that does not have any outstanding verification requirements
  • Have met all requirements for admission
  • Have a Spring term Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) code status of good standing, warning or an approved Academic Plan

Student Not Eligible for Emergency Grant Funds

Student populations determined as not eligible for Emergency Grant Funds as defined by the U. S. Department of Education:

  • Dual Enrolled High School Students
  • Foreign students to include DACA students
  • Transient students – these students may receive funds from home institution
  • Students having defaulted on student loans, overpayments or have other loan restrictions.
  • Students enrolled in Minimester A courses that ended prior to March 13, 2020

Proposed Process for Awarding and Disbursing Emergency Funds to Student

Based on the eligibility requirements above, the college has identified 1,339 students who meet eligibility requirements to receive Emergency Grant Funds. The college desires to provide the disbursement of funds to those students who are currently determined to be eligible. There are 535 students enrolled in the spring who have unmet eligibility requirements to receive Emergency Grant funds. Funds will be awarded by the Financial Aid Department and disbursed to student accounts. Each student account will show a credit balance. Since CARES Act funds cannot be used to cover tuition and fees, the award will generate a refund. The Business Office will disburse the credit balance to BankMobile for release to the student.

The college has determined that there are approximately 130 students enrolled in the spring term who may become eligible with the completion of the 2019-2020 FAFSA.

The College will disburse funds to two cohorts; Cohort 1 from the Spring term and Cohort 2 from the Summer term.

Identification of Cohort 1

Cohort 1 consisted of those students who have already completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2019-2020 and have met all eligibility requirements stated above. The college has identified 1,339 students for Cohort 1 who were enrolled in a Title IV eligible program as having completed a 2019-2020 FASFA with no outstanding documents.

The total funding amount allocated to Cohort 1 was $712,792.74 resulting in an award of $532.73 per student.

Identification of Cohort 2

The college has determined that students who were eligible for Emergency Grant Funds from the spring term and continue enrollment in the summer term continued to face impact from the COVID-19 virus. Cohort 2 consisted of students who were determined to be eligible for Emergency Grant Funds from the Spring term who continue credit enrollment in the Summer term. There were 815 students registered for a credit class in the summer term who were eligible to receive emergency grant funding in the spring term. These students continued to meet all eligibility requirements as stated above.

Students attending the Spring term who did not complete the 2019-2020 FASFA prior to the disbursement to Cohort 1 were considered for Cohort 2 if they submitted a 2019-2020 FAFSA and met all eligibility requirements as stated above by June 1, 2020.  Student Affairs contacted this group of students and offered assistance with filing a FASFA application by the stated deadline.

The total funding amount allocated to the Cohort 2 during the Summer term to summer students who were enrolled in spring term was $228,872.41.

The total funding amount allocated to spring students who did meet the eligibility requirements at the time of disbursement of Cohort 1, but later became eligible is $115,350.85

Should any Emergency Grant funds remain following the distribution to Cohort 2, the college will disburse the balance of remaining funds to the eligible students identified in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2. Funds were disbursed prior to the completion of the Summer term. The College sent an email and text once the funds have disbursed to student accounts.

The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant as of September 30, 2020, is 1,556.

If you have questions about these Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act, please contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@northgatech.edu

Institutional Aid Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Pursuant to Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act (“Institutional Aid Portion”), the USDOE allocated $1,057,016.00 to the college. This award is separate from the funding made available for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students described above.

The college has signed and returned to the USDOE the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the College intends to use the award for any costs associated with significant changes to the college's delivery of instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such costs do not include payment to contractors for the provision of pre-enrollment recruitment activities, including marketing and advertising; endowments; or capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship.

Pursuant to the CARES Act, the college retains discretion in determining how to allocate and use the award provided, as long as the funds are spent only on those costs for which the college has a reasoned basis for concluding such costs have a clear nexus to significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. Allowable costs include the college’s Institutional Costs first incurred on or after March 13, 2020 (the date of the Proclamation of National Emergency (Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 53 at 15337-38)), such as reimbursing itself for costs related to refunds made to students for housing, food, or other services that the college could no longer provide; for lost revenues; or for hardware, software, or internet connectivity that the college may have purchased on behalf of students or provided to students; or the college’s technology costs associated with a transition to distance education.

Consistent with Section 18006 of the CARES Act and to the greatest extent practicable, the college will pay all of its full-time employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to the coronavirus. The following expenditures are disallowed: senior administrator and/or executive salaries, benefits, bonuses, contracts, incentives; stock buybacks, shareholder dividends, capital distributions, and stock options; and any other cash or other benefit for a senior administrator or executive.

The college will comply with all reporting requirements (including those in Section 1501 l(b)(2) of Division B of the CARES Act) and submit required quarterly reports to the USDOE, at such time and in such manner and containing such information as the USDOE may reasonably require.

As of September 30, 2020, the college has drawn the Institutional Aid Portion for the following allowable costs:

$308,682.72

Lost revenue (dining hall, continuing education courses, business & industry customized training, conference center at 2 satellite campuses, Summer Semester 2020 dorm fees and student activity fees)

$70,699.80

Refunds to Spring Semester 2020 students for dorm fees

$68,879.82

Supplies (disinfectant supplies; personal protective equipment (PPE); supplies to build college's IT capacity to support remote learning programs)

$448,262.34

Total Institutional Aid drawn

Strengthening Institutions Program Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Pursuant to Section 18004(a)(2) of the CARES Act (“Strengthening Institutions Program” (SIP)), the USDOE allocated $102,541.00 to the college as a designated eligible institution in FY 2020 under the titles III and V grant programs under the Higher Education Act. This award is separate from the funding made available for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students and the Institutional Aid described above.

The college has signed and returned to the USDOE the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the College intends to use the award to defray expenses incurred by the college on or after March 13, 2020 (the date of the Proclamation of National Emergency), including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll.

Consistent with Section 18006 of the CARES Act and to the greatest extent practicable, the college will pay all of its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to the coronavirus. The following expenditures are disallowed: senior administrator and/or executive salaries, benefits, bonuses, contracts, incentives; stock buybacks, shareholder dividends, capital distributions, and stock options; and any other cash or other benefit for a senior administrator or executive.

The college will comply with all reporting requirements (including those in Section 15011(b)(2) of Division B of the CARES Act) and submit required quarterly reports to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require. As of September 30, 2020, the college has not drawn the SIP Portion yet.