Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds
HEERF I - Funded by the CARES Act
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Funding
Monmouth College has signed and returned to the Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement Form required and has received $1,069,404 in federal CARES Act funding. No less than 50% of this funding ($534,702) must be used to provide emergency grants directly to students in recognition of the additional expense they will incur as a result of COVID-19, the disruption of the Spring 2020 term and their relocation home. The remaining 50% of the CARES funding may be used by the institution to offset additional expenses incurred directly by the institution as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monmouth College did not elect to utilize a lengthy application nor review process. Rather, we utilized the current financial aid records and need analysis already used by the Student Financial Planning Office in conjunction with the costs incurred by each individual student for such things housing and food and developed a formula to automate the determination and proration of funding for each student. Amounts disbursed varied depending on the individual student’s costs and financial assistance.
Funding was disbursed through the Student Financial Planning Office directly to student accounts for tracking purposes. However, funds were disbursed directly to students by check or direct deposit bypassing any existing past due balance on student accounts. This enabled Monmouth College to get these federal CARES Act funds into the hands of students/families quickly.
HEERF II - Funded by the CRRSAA Act
Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA Act) Funding
Monmouth College has signed and returned to the Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement Form required and has received $1,561,080 in federal CRRSAA Act funding. No less than $534,702 must be used to provide emergency grants directly to students. The remaining $1,026,378 of the funding may be used by the institution.
In this second round of awarding, the institution felt it was important to attempt to identify those students and families who were truly the most negatively impacted by COVID-19 and/or who were perhaps struggling in silence. In an attempt to identify impacted families, we created a simply application process. It was our goal to ensure students had an opportunity to graduate and/or continue to pursue their degree from Monmouth College uninterrupted. We divided the student population into waves and mailed out the applications accordingly. In wave one, we mailed applications to the families of freshman and sophomores who appeared to have exhausted all options in traditional sources of aid. In other words, the families had received grant dollars, and in addition, appeared to have exhausted all federal loans options. In wave two, we mailed to similar junior students. In wave three, we mailed applications to all remaining returning students. In wave four, we sent applications to new incoming prospective students. As this application process was occurring in the months of April and May 2021, the institution felt we could ensure that our seniors could graduate and we did not mail applications to the graduating seniors.
It was our hope and our intention that in collecting the simple application along with income tax returns and/or W-2’s from families we could consider families not only for the federal HEERF funds, but it would also allow our staff to perform professional judgement adjustments to the FAFSA when appropriate and allow these families to collect additional aid through the existing/more traditional student aid programs for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Although there has been significant financial devastation caused by COVID-19, our application process and the income tax forms collected from families have indicated that many families who lost employment more than replaced their annual income through the enhanced unemployment benefits.
In June of 2021, we ultimately decided that so few families (approximately 12% of our student body) applied for the emergency HEERF Grants, that we could ration dollars out to all students in order to spend the significant funding provided by the federal government. We felt we had performed our due diligence in an attempt to identify the families most negatively impacted and we awarded significant funding to those families. We then proceeded to ration dollars to students on a rolling basis. In this process, we allowed Spring 2021 graduates to receive a portion of the emergency grants.
Per federal guidance, International students and DACA students were not included in the distribution of CRRSAA (HEERF II) funding and were instead provided funding through American Rescue Plan (ARP)/HEERF III funding.
HEERF III - Funded by the ARP Act
American Rescue Plan Act (ARP Act) Funding
Monmouth College has signed and returned to the Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement Form required and has received $2,749,332 in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). No less than 50% ($1,374,666) of this funding must be used to provide emergency grants directly to students. The remaining 50% may be used by the institution.
In this third round of funding, Monmouth College will follow the philosophy developed in round two and continue to ration dollars to enrolled students. We have a simple application (4 questions) which allows families to provide us additional information about their financial hardships and we will consider these families for additional HEERF funding beyond the typical rationing. For an application, please contact the Student Financial Planning Office at 309-457-2129 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org