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SUNY GCC - Genesee Community College

CARES Act FAQs

Am I eligible for CARES Act funds?

Eligible students must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be enrolled in at least one in-person course for the Spring 2020 semester;
  • Must be enrolled in a degree program;
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid (federal financial aid, including student loans);
  • Should have a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file (can apply for 2019-2020 at FAFSA.gov through June 30, 2020);
  • Enrollment was impacted by COVID-19 and have expenses incurred for housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare, or childcare;
  • Cannot be an international or undocumented student.

What does it mean to be “eligible to receive Title IV aid?”

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number;
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you are a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • Have a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file. (FAFSA can be filed at http://fafsa.gov, the 2019-2020 FAFSA is due by June 30th)

I am an international student and not a citizen of the United States. Am I eligible for a CARES Act grant?

No. Eligible students must be eligible to file a FAFSA. International and undocumented students are not eligible to file a FAFSA.

How can students apply for CARES Act funds?

Eligible students will be sent a link to your GCC email account to apply for the CARES Act funds.  Funds may be limited in number and size due to funding constraints, therefore we encourage applicants to apply by June 30, 2020. You will be notified via your GCC email of approval or denial of your application within 5 business days of submitting your application.

What are the types of expenses covered by CARES Act funding?

Eligible expenses for CARES Act funding include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical, food, housing, utilities, technology expenses, relocation costs to return home, unexpected childcare, course materials, and other unexpected expenses due to the disruption of campus due to the COVID-19 crisis.

How much funding will I get?

Award amounts vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances.

What should I do if I’m not sure that my expense would be covered by CARES Act funding?

We encourage all students to fill out the application and describe the funding they need to successfully pursue their studies.

How long before I know if I’m awarded?

We anticipate a large volume of applications and will work to process submissions as quickly as possible. Our goal is to provide funding decisions as soon as possible, and ideally within 5 business days depending upon the sufficiency of your application. We recomend setting up direct deposit as outlined below.

What documentation am I required to submit for the CARES Act application?

Students will be required to submit the application. The CARES Committee may reach out for additional documentation based on Department of Education and SUNY guidelines if needed. The Committee will contact the student via email and outline any supporting documentation needed.

How will I receive the funding if my request is approved?

Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your funding. Designate your bank account in your MyGCC account. Follow the instructions below to manage your refund:

  1. Login to your MyGCC account
  2. Click on My Account
  3. Click on My Banner Self-Service
  4. Click on Manage My Student Account
  5. Click on Manage My Refund
  6. Enter your bank account information (routing number and account number required)

The College processes weekly refunds each Thursday.  Those students who are eligible for a refund during that weekly process will have their funds deposited the following Tuesday.  Due to the volume of applications, we cannot accomodate special requests at this time.

If you are not able to set up a direct deposit account, you will be mailed a paper check, issued by Wells Fargo bank and mailed to the mailing address on file (if no mailing address exists the check will be mailed to the permanent address). Be advised that this method can take several weeks for the check to arrive.  Be sure to check your address in your myGCC to make sure we have your correct address.

I graduate this semester. Can I still receive assistance?

Yes, graduates are encouraged to apply by June 30, 2020. The fastest way to receive the funds is by direct deposit, see above.

I need more funding. Can I reapply for more than what I originally requested?

At this time, the College is awarding students based on the agreed upon procedure with SUNY. If a student needs additional funding they can contact cares@weichuchuang.com to request a supplemental grant application. The CARES Committee will begin reviewing supplemental requests July 6, 2020.

I know of a GCC student who needs financial help. Where do I refer them to?

Eligible students will be sent a link to their GCC email account to apply for the CARES Act funds.  Funds may be limited in number and size due to funding constraints, therefore we encourage applicants to apply by June 30, 2020. Students will be notified via their GCC email of approval or denial of their application within 5 business days of submitting their application.

Half of the CARES Act funding is going to GCC students as required by the federal government. How is the College using the other 50 percent of the funds distributed?

Institutions will receive allocations and guidance for the institutional share of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the coming weeks. Institutions will be able to use these funds to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

HEERF Student Aid Funds

The Federal Government established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act (CARES) on March 27, 2020 a portion of which, Student Aid Funds, is to be used to provide emergency assistance to students. Supplemental funds were later authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA)/(HEERF II) and the American Rescue Plan (ARP)/(HEERF III) to continue support for institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genesee Community College has been allocated HEERF Student Aid Funds to provide emergency grants to students experiencing financial hardship specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic for expenses related to any component of the student’s cost of attendance and/or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.

As a recipient of HEERF Student Aid Funds, Genesee Community College is required by the federal Education Department (ED) to report the following elements on a quarterly basis:

  1. An acknowledgement that the certification agreement was signed and returned to the federal Education Department (ED) and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, all of the Student Aid Funds to provide emergency grants to students.
  2. The total amount of HEERF Funds that the institution will receive or has received.
  3. The total amount of emergency grants distributed to students.
  4. The estimated total number of students eligible to receive an emergency grant.
  5. The total number of students who received an emergency grant.
  6. The method the institution used to determine which students will receive emergency grants and how much funding they will receive. [Awarding Methodology]

Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency grants.

Initial 30-Day Report – July 9, 2020 – HEERF I

Genesee Community College has distributed $595,439.63 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 9, 2020

Genesee Community College has determined 1,609 at the institution are 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.

743 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 9, 2020.

45-Day Report – August 23, 2020

Genesee Community College has distributed $645,803.22 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 23, 2020

Genesee Community College has determined 1,609 at the institution are 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.

829 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 23, 2020.

Federal Disclosure Reporting Chart

Below is the combined quarterly reporting summary for the HEERF Student Aid Funds made available through CARES, CRRSAA, and the ARP.

Report Period Total amount of HEERF funds the institution will receive or has received (Combined) Total amount of Emergency Grants distributed to students (Quarterly Only) Total number of students who received an Emergency Grant (Quarterly Only) Total amount of Emergency Grants distributed to students (Cumulative) (Voluntary Disclosure) Total number of students who received an Emergency Grant (Cumulative) (Voluntary Disclosure)
Quarterly Report for March 31, 2021 Posted on 4/6/2021 $1,242,440 $0* 0* $1,242,440 1,387
Quarterly Report for June 30, 2021 Posted on 7/8/2021 $2,484,880 $1,212,320 1,124 $2,484,880 2,511
Quarterly Report for September 30, 2021 (Posted 5/6/2022) $2,484,880 $31,400 267 $31,402.50 2,778
Quarterly Report for December 31, 2021 (Posted 5/6/2022) $4,727,737.50 $2,242,857.50 1536 $2,192,757.50 4,314
Quarterly Report for March 31, 2022 (Posted 5/6/2022) $4,719,366.25 -$8,371.25 50 $21,593.75 4,364

*Click the HEERF I, II, and III links for the following required reporting elements listed above: (1) the acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement; (4) the estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive emergency grants; (6) Awarding Methodology; and (7) any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency grants.

HEERF Institutional Funds

Below is the required quarterly reporting for HEERF Institutional Funds made available through CARES, CRRSAA, and the ARP:

Genesee Community College acknowledges an authorized representative of the institution has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and 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.

Genesee Community College has received or will receive $2,484,880 from the Department of Education pursuant to the Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. The estimated total number of eligible students to receive funds is 2,733 were eligible to receive emergency grants (methodology included in links above).

Cumulative Report (period covers 6/11/20 to 10/19/20)

Genesee Community College has distributed $1,242,440.00 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of November 23, 2020

Genesee Community College has determined 1,609 at the institution are 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.

1,387 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of November 23, 2020.

HEERF III Methodology, Student Awards, Communication and Plan

Methodology

Genesee Community College will prioritize emergency grants to students with exceptional need based on Pell eligibility and EFC. Awards will be posted to the student account. Refund amounts will be overridden to ensure that the full amount of the award is refunded and not offset by student account balances. The refunds will be processed through Nelnet. Students can manage their refund options through their intranet account (MyGCC). Students can elect to have the refund deposited directly to their bank account or to a reloadable debit card. Students that do not choose either of those options will have a paper check processed and mailed.

  • Genesee Community College will not offer students the choice to affirmatively “opt-in” to apply the HEERF III Student Aid emergency grant to outstanding balances.
  • Genesee Community College will withhold 6.31% of the HEERF III funds for discretionary use for emergency grants to students. These students will be asked to submit an application to request funding.
    • Refugees, asylum seeders DACA recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students
    • Students with an EFC outside of the Block Grant range
    • International students, including those attending online
  • Genesee Community College will not offer students the choice to affirmatively “opt-in” to apply the HEERF II Student Aid emergency grant to outstanding balances.

Additional Student Awards

Genesee Community College will withhold 2.42% of HEERF III funds to be available for students enrolled in Summer 2021 courses based on Pell eligibility. Block grants will be issued based on billed hours as of census date November 7, 2022.

Student Communication and Plan

Eligible students will be notified of the available HEERF III grant funds through email, automated calls/texts and campus staff outreach. The communication will include the SUNY provided statement:
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, funds have been made available through the American Rescue Plan Act to award emergency grants to students for expenses related to any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses include tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or childcare. The Campus has deemed you eligible to receive an emergency grant in the amount of $000 FT/ $000 PT. This is not a loan and will not need to be paid back and will not affect your financial aid award amounts for academic year 2021-2022. Students must understand it is their responsibility to notify the Student Accounts Office studentaccounts@weichuchuang.com immediately if they will not incur expenses that meet or exceed the amount of their emergency grant.