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CARES Act

Southern Tech is pleased to announce participation in the Cares Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Emergency grant funds are offered to post-secondary students, in addition to any other financial aid received, for emergency expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

The Certification and Agreement forms have been submitted and funds were received to help offset additional expenses for eligible post-secondary students who were committed to continuing their programs through Distance Learning for the remainder of the Spring semester and for those who return and continue in the Fall.

No less than 50% of the grant funds, or $126,027, were allocated equally to eligible post-secondary students who completed and returned a Cares Act form attesting to meeting the Title IV eligibility requirements listed on the form and to using the funds for allowable expenses.

Eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance include technology, course materials, health care, child care, food and housing.  To date 84 post-secondary students applied for and were successfully granted a total of $109,200. The remaining $16,827 was disbursed as a residual payment for 54 of those same post-secondary students who continued into the Fall 2020 semester.  A balance of 6 cents remains in the fund to date.

Originally 103 students were estimated to possibly be eligible to participate in Title IV and, of those, 84 students were eligible at the time funds were disbursed.  Eleven students chose to take a leave of absence in lieu of continuing on a virtual basis and the remaining eight were not eligible for various reasons such as no SAP or withdrawal from the program.

The methods used Southern Tech for the level of funding were chosen for expediency and efficiency.  When funds were received 97 students were still determined to be eligible for funds.  Rather than make students go through a lengthy process of applying for Title IV aid, if they had not already, and completing a scholarship form and having a committee determine who is eligible for how much while everyone is trying to cope with a pandemic and adjust to virtual learning, Southern Tech simply divided the funds available by the number of eligible students at the time.  Any remaining funds after all students had an opportunity to participate, were disbursed to any of the eligible students who had returned to complete their programs in the Fall.

Students were notified first by email, then by letter, and finally those who had not yet responded were mailed a certified letter in late summer.  The distribution form explained why the student was receiving funds, the Title IV criteria the student must attest to, and the expenses the student was allowed to spend the money for.  These funds were issued directly to the student from the Cares Act funds in the form of a check and students were contacted by email for a drive-by pickup time on Friday with any remaining checks mailed that same day.  A letter accompanied distribution of Fall checks and students were reminded of the attestation they already signed and the expenses the funds could be used for.

CARES Act HEERF Student Portion Funds

As of the quarterly report dated 9-30-20, the total amount of these funds, $126,017, has been expended.

Cares Act HEERF Institutional Portion Funds

Certification and Agreement forms were submitted and funds in the amount of $126,027 have been awarded to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus such as expanding remote learning programs, building IT capacity to support such programs and training faculty and staff to operate safely and effectively in a remote learning environment now and in the future.  As of the quarterly report dated 9-30-20, the total amount of these funds, $126,027, has been expended.

Cares Act HEERF FIPSE Funds

Certification and Agreement forms were submitted in early May, 2020, and funds were awarded in the amount of $247,946.  These funds were reported as received on the Quarterly Budget and Expenditures Report ending 9-30-20.  A revised report shows $133,176 of these funds expended as of 9-30-20 As of the posting of the second quarterly report dated 12-31-20, another $25,091 was expended in the fourth quarter of the calendar year 2020.  A balance of $89,679 remains available for continuing expenditures due to COVID-19 and virtual instruction as we begin the 2021 Calendar year.

Supplying students and staff with laptops and distance learning/working capabilities and operating a pandemically safe and sanitized campus have been the largest expenses.  The Financial Aid Coordinator and the Business Office are working together to ensure proper accounting of funds for allowable purposes and in accordance with cash management principles.

This notice was posted within 30 days of receipt of allocation and updated every 45 days and then quarterly as directed.

Date of Allocation 4-28-20; 30-day report posted 5-27-20, 7-10-20, 8-21-20, 10-05-20, revised report for quarter ending 9-30-20, 1-07-21

Next report due 4-10-21