CARES Act Emergency Grant
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that was signed into law to provide economic relief to organizations and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is part of the CARES ACT which provides funds to colleges for emergency financial aid grants to on-campus students who had unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.
What is a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
The CARES Act Emergency Grant is for eligible on-campus students who had unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus due to the COVOD-19 pandemic such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. The funds are a grant, not a loan, and do not need to be paid back.
Am I eligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
To be eligible for a CARES Act Grant, you must be:
- Enrolled full-time or half-time on-campus in spring 2020 courses as of April 5, 2020
- Seeking an undergraduate degree from NEC
- Eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid
- Having completed the 2019-2020 FAFSA as well as any verification requirements
- Meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements
I am enrolled in an online program, am I eligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
No. The CARES Act guidance from the U.S. Department of Education state that students enrolled exclusively in online programs are not eligible for the grants.
How will I receive my CARES Act Emergency Grant?
Grants will be issued to eligible students according to the refund method a student chooses in their MYNEC portal at nec.edu/mynecportal. Students may choose from direct deposit, mailed check, or reloadable card. If no choice is selected, a check will be mailed to the student’s mailing address that is listed in their MYNEC portal.
When will I receive my CARES Act Emergency Grant?
The Student Financial Services Office will process funds as quickly as possible. Grants are anticipated to be available to students by the beginning of June. Students will receive an email notification when the grant becomes available.
How much will my CARES Act Emergency Grant be?
The Grant amounts range from $200-$650. Individual amounts vary based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
Since I received a grant refund, is my account balance paid off?
No. CARES Act Emergency Grants are sent directly to students regardless of the status of their account balance. The grants are not applied directly to outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. As such, receiving a grant does not indicate that a student has satisfied their financial obligations to NEC. Students may view their account balance online in their MYNEC portal. Payments for outstanding balances may be submitted in the MYNEC portal, by check, or credit card.
What can I use my CARES Act Emergency Grant for?
CARES Acts Emergency Grants are to assist students facing unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Funds may be used towards expenses such as food, housing, internet service, course materials such as art supplies, technology related expenses such as a tablet or software, health care and childcare.
Why didn’t I receive a CARES Act Grant?
Under the CARES Act guidance and U.S. Department of Education rules, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grants. Eligibility for federal student aid is confirmed by submission of the 2019-2020 FAFSA including any verification documents and confirmation of satisfactory academic progress status. Students must also have been enrolled in an on-campus undergraduate degree program at least half-time for the Spring 2020 semester as of April 5, 2020.
I received a CARES Act Grant, but I have additional expenses.
Additional CARES Act Emergency Grants, on a limited basis, may available to students enrolled for the summer 2020 or fall 2020 semesters with exceptional need through an application-based appeal process. Students must meet the eligibility criteria listed above to request an additional grant.
To apply, students may request an Emergency Fund Appeal Application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students should also submit their 2020-2021 FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov and complete any outstanding verification items in nec.verifymyfafsa.com. Additional funding requests will be evaluated based on need as determined from the FAFSA and may be available for only documented eligible expenses until the funds are depleted.
Is money received from the CARES Act considered taxable income?
No. Emergency grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includable in your gross income and you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. See section 139(h) of the Internal Revenue Code at irs.gov for more information.
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