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Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Reporting Requirements for

  • Student Emergency Award Grant
  • Institutional Aid Grant
  • Minority Serving Institutional Aid Grant

May 6, 2020: Schreiner University is required to post on “the institution’s primary website in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public” the seven elements of reporting for the CARES Act.

1. An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned the Agreement to ED and the assurance 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.

As part of the federal grant submission for the CARES Act funding, President McCormick signed the Funding Certification and Agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students on April 23, 2020. This documentation was submitted to the US Department of Education and included in the GAN Award Number P425E203377. In addition, Dr. McCormick also signed the Funding Certification and Agreement for the Institutional Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Formula Grants Authorized by Section 18004(a)(1) on April 23, 2020, and the Institutional Portion for Minority Serving Institution Award under Section 18004(a)(2) of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund on May 5, 2020.

2. The total amount of funds the institution will receive or has received from ED pursuant to the institution’s Agreement for emergency financial aid grants to students.

Schreiner University has received or will receive the following funding from the CARES Act.

Student Emergency Funding $590,601
Institutional Aid $590,600
HSI Institutional Aid $86,247
Total $1,267,448

3. The total amount of emergency financial aid grants distributed to students under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission, i.e., as of the 30-day report and every 45 days thereafter.

As of May 31, 2020, the total amount distributed to students is $548,600.
As of June 23, 2020, the total amount distributed to students is $562,900.
As of July 15, 2020, the total amount distributed to students is $574,900.
As of August 15, 2020, the total amount distributed to students is $590,601.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under §484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness gathered the listing of students who qualified for the funding and found that a total of 919 students were eligible to receive the emergency financial aid grant funding.

5. The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The total number of students who received emergency financial aid grants is 919.

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive emergency financial aid grants and how much they would receive under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

On April 27, President McCormick sent an email to all students informing them of the availability of government funding from the CARES Act. The following is a direct quote from his notification informing students of the two-part methodology that was adopted by Schreiner University administration. The methodology was presented by the Vice President for Administration and Finance, Bill Muse to the President’s Administrative Cabinet and it was approved unanimously on April 20, 2020.

“I write to you today with information about funds that the federal government is making available to you through the passage of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. The CARES Act calculated an allocation of funds per college, and the Department of Education has asked each college to determine how to disburse these funds to eligible students. The CARES Act includes the following stipulations for who cannot receive these funds: students that were enrolled in online programs before the onset of COVID-19 are not eligible to receive these funds, and students who are not eligible to receive federal financial aid are not eligible for these funds either. It is not yet known whether the federal government will determine if these funds are taxable. Although most people believe it was the intention of Congress to not tax these funds, this exemption was not specifically included in the CARES Act. Note, too, that if you are expecting a stimulus check from the CARES Act, this is not that relief. Stimulus checks are being disbursed through other means.

In an effort to expedite the availability of funds, we will be distributing these funds very soon, and in two ways. First, we are providing all eligible students a base stipend of $250. ​In addition, using the federal government’s calculation of a student’s EFC (an “estimated family contribution” to each student’s educational expenses), we will add funds to this base stipend so that students with a smaller EFC will receive a marginally larger allocation. ​Consistent with the Department of Education guidelines, these funds are being disbursed directly to all eligible students, with the purpose of helping to defray extra expenses you have incurred as a result of the COVID-19 disruption. We intend to have these checks in the mail to eligible students as soon as we receive these funds from the Department of Education.

Second, because we realize we do not know how COVID-19 has impacted particular students, we are reserving ​a special fund for students who ​have an acute need for additional emergency-relief. These funds ​are limited, are available through ​a simple online application​, and will provide grants of up to $2,000. We anticipate that approximately 100 of these grants will be available. The application will be available this week in SchreinerOne so I encourage you to check there for further information. Of course, ​because these additional grants are limited and intended for those with the greatest need, not every request can be granted. I ask for your understanding and patience as we make these decisions.”

The following outlines the methodology used for the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Disbursement.

Part 1 Methodology – Base Stipend

Following the guidelines from the CARES Act grant application, the following eligibility requirements were adopted.

  • Title IV Eligible – Degree seeking students only
  • Enrolled as of March 13, 2020
  • Enrolled in a face to face instructional program for spring 2020
  • Submit form/justification for Special Circumstance component

Therefore, students enrolled in specific instructional programs were identified as ineligible. They include:

  • Online RN to BSN students
  • Online MED, MBA, PCERT students
  • International Students
  • Non-degree seeking students: Greystone, Dual Credit, Co-enrolled, Auditors

The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness gathered the listing of students who qualified for the funding and found that a total of 919 students qualified for the base funding amount of $250. The EFC value was also included in the query and the following table illustrates the itemized amounts per EFC level. This amounts to $390,601, leaving $200,00 for part 2 of the student emergency funding – the Special Circumstance Award.

Listing of students who qualified for the funding
These awards were generated as a cash disbursement to students on the week of May 4th and checks were mailed out to students. Each student received a letter from Dr. McCormick using similar language from his original email notification. In addition, instructions on how to apply for the Part 2 component of the CARES Act student emergency funding were also included.

Part 2 Methodology – Special Circumstance Award – $200,000

An online application was created for students to submit their application for the Special Circumstance Award. The instructions, detailed below, were posted on the external website and included in the internal student portal – Schreiner One. The following is a snapshot of the online application students used for submission.

Special Circumstance Award Form
Additional eligibility requirements were included in the instructions as well as types of expenses considered. A committee gathered weekly (and continues to gather until the funds have been disbursed) to review applications. Each week, those students selected for the Special Circumstance Award are notified and cash disbursements are prepared in the form of a check the following business day for mail. Those students that did not meet the criteria are notified and asked to resubmit.

Eligibility Requirements
Per the CARES Act guidelines, students seeking financial assistance should be currently enrolled, must be degree-seeking at Schreiner University, and must have been originally enrolled in a face-to-face program of instruction at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester. Those students not eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid are not eligible for the CARES Acts Student Emergency Funds.

Types of Expenses Considered
Examples of expenses that may be considered for funding include:

  • Housing and living expenses like utilities
  • Food and medication/prescription expenses
  • Unanticipated school related expenses
  • Replacement of belongings lost
  • Unanticipated loss of employment
  • Safety-related needs (e.g. emergency shelter)

Other Funding
Funding for the Institutional portion of the CARES Act as well as funding for the Minority Serving Institutions was used to reimburse Schreiner University for the student refunds issued on March 23, 2020 for room and board. The total refunds placed on student accounts reached $1.5M. The allocations from the CARES Act ($590,600 and $86,247) were used to help offset the revenue shortfall for the university.

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

Information regarding directions and guidance to students are detail in component #6.

8. Information related to the Institutional Aid portions of the CARES Act.

Schreiner University has spent the full amount of the CARES Act Institutional Aid funding of $590,600. These funds were expensed on May 28, 2020 and used to offset the student refunds for room and board in the spring 2020 semester. The total amount of the room and board refunds to students was $1,495,690.80.
In addition, the HSI Institutional Aid funding of $86,247 were expensed on May 31, 2020 and also used to offset the student refunds for room and board in the spring 2020 semester.

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act

Schreiner University received a supplemental amount of $732 for the HSI institutional portion in December 2020. These funds were used to help offset the room and board expenses from spring 2020. The final total for the first round of CARES Act funding for Schreiner University was $1,268,180.”

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Methodology for Student Emergency Fund Disbursement

On February 23, President McCormick sent an email to all students informing them of the availability of government funding from the CARES Act. The following is a direct quote from his notification informing students of the two-part methodology that was adopted by Schreiner University administration. The methodology was presented by the Vice President for Administration and Finance (Costley) to the President’s Administrative Cabinet and it was approved unanimously on February 22, 2021.

“I write to you today with information about funds that the federal government is making available to you through the passage of a second Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) package. These federal funds were sent to institutions of higher education so that they could provide eligible students an emergency grant with the purpose of helping defray extra expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 disruption. The Department of Education asked each higher education institution to determine how to disburse these funds to eligible students. Eligibility at Schreiner is limited to degree-seeking students only.

To expedite the availability of funds, we will start distributing checks this week. We are providing all eligible students a base stipend of $250. In addition, using the federal government’s calculation of a student’s EFC (an “estimated family contribution” to each student’s educational expenses), we will add funds to this base stipend so that students with a smaller EFC will receive a marginally larger allocation of funds. These funds are being disbursed directly to all eligible students by way of a check mailed to your home address or directly to your banking institution for those students who are already signed up to receive e-refunds.

Additionally, and because we realize we do not know how COVID-19 has impacted particular students, we are reserving a special fund for students who have an acute need for additional emergency-relief. These funds are limited, are available through a simple online application, and will provide grants of up to $2,000. The application is available in SchreinerOne under the Student tab so I encourage you to check there for further information. Of course, because these additional grants are limited and intended for those with the greatest need, not every request can be granted. I ask for your understanding and patience as we make these decisions.”

The following outlines the methodology used for the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Disbursement.

Part 1 Methodology – Base Stipend

Following the guidelines from the CARES Act grant application, the following eligibility requirements were adopted.

  • Title IV Eligible – VN, PCERT, and Degree seeking students only
  • Enrolled as of February 9, 2021 – Spring 2021 Census
  • Not necessarily Enrolled in a face to face instructional program for spring 2021
  • Submit form/justification for Special Circumstance component
  • Students do not have to have ISIR on file to receive funds
  • Incoming students for Fall 2021 eligible for special circumstance grants
  • Online students (UG and GR) receive base amount only.

Therefore, students enrolled in specific instructional programs were identified as ineligible. They include:

  • International Students
  • Non-degree seeking students: Dual Credit, Co-enrolled, Auditors, CCI Certificate students

The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness gathered the listing of students who qualified for the funding and found that a total of 1,072 students qualified for the base funding amount of $250. The EFC value was also included in the query and the following table illustrates the itemized amounts per EFC level. This amounts to $414,650, leaving $175,951 for part 2 of the student emergency funding – the Special Circumstance Award.

EFC Factor Data

included in the internal student portal – Schreiner One. The following is a snapshot of the online application students used for submission.

CARES Act Round 2- Award Application

Additional eligibility requirements were included in the instructions as well as types of expenses considered. A committee has gathered (and continues to gather weekly until the funds have been disbursed) to review applications. Each week, those students selected for the Special Circumstance Award are notified and cash disbursements are prepared in the form of a check the following business day for mail. Those students that did not meet the criteria are notified and asked to resubmit.

An initial allocation for students was place in queue of $125,000. The remaining $50,951 was placed on hold for the summer term leading into fall 2021 for both persisting and incoming students.

Eligibility Requirements

Students seeking financial assistance should be currently enrolled and must be degree-seeking at Schreiner University. Those students not eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid are not eligible for the CARES Acts Student Emergency Funds.

Types of Expenses Considered

Examples of expenses that may be considered for funding include:

  • Housing and living expenses like utilities
  • Food and medication/prescription expenses
  • Unanticipated school related expenses
  • Unanticipated loss of employment
  • Safety-related needs (e.g. emergency shelter)

Notifications regarding the Special Circumstance grants occurred at the end of spring break in March of 2021. Approximately $133,000 were disbursed to students based on applications received before March 5, 2021. The remaining amount of $42,000 is currently under review by the committee. Those student submissions between March 5, 20201 and March 19, 2021 will be decided by March 29, 2021.

Currently, the application for the Special Circumstance grants is closed.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Schreiner University will be receiving additional funding for student emergency grants in the near future as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. As of March 22, 2021, Schreiner University has yet to receive official notification from the Department of Education. As soon as funds are awarded and the guidelines on how to disburse those funds are released from the Department of Education, Schreiner University will release an announcement on the methodology and directions on how to apply for those funds.

We anticipate the announcements will not be released until the beginning of May 2021.