CARES Act

The second round of the CARES Act Federal Student Grants application was made available on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, online application. All applications must be received by Thursday, September 17, 2020. All students will be notified by email to their RVCC email account, through the College’s Website, and through RVCC sponsored social media. Students should make sure they have completed a FASFA before they apply.  FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). All grants will be mailed to the address in RVCC’s student information system. If you need to update your mailing address, please complete the Address Verification form.

CARES FEDERAL EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR STUDENTS

The federal government has made funds available to eligible college students who have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. These are one-time emergency grants and they are designed to cover your expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.

FAQs

Who is eligible for the Cares Federal Emergency Assistance?

  • You must be enrolled in courses for the Fall 2020 Semester
  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • You must be a high school graduate or have a GED or High School Equivalency diploma
  • You must be currently receiving financial aid OR
    You must have filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA for 2020-2021 OR
    You must immediately fill out a FAFSA for 2020-21 if you have not already done so
  • You must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program that is eligible for financial aid

Students who are enrolled in the CPA Certificate Program or the Medical Coding Certificate Program, which are offered entirely online, are not eligible for funding.

Visiting students should apply for Cares Federal Emergency Assistance from their home college.

I meet all the requirements, what do I do next?
Fill out the Cares Federal Emergency Assistance Grant application. (Deadline has past)

I meet all the requirements except filling out a FAFSA, what can I do?
You can still fill out a FAFSA to qualify for the aid. Go to www.fafsa.gov to apply. It takes about 30 minutes to complete. Our Financial Aid office will notify you once your FAFSA has been processed and then you can fill out the Cares Federal Emergency Assistance Grant application.  Filling out the FAFSA will also provide you with the added benefit of finding out if you are eligible for other forms of state or federal aid for the 2020-2021 school year. Click here for a video providing an overview on FAFSA.  Click here for a video on how to fill the FAFSA.

What is the deadline for applying for Cares Federal Emergency Assistance?
All applications must be received by Thursday, September 17, 2020.

What can I do if I have suffered financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and I’m not eligible for the federal assistance?
The College has a Resource Center and Food Pantry that may be able to provide assistance in meeting your basic needs. Email Karen.Gutshall-Seidman@raritanval.edu for assistance. Financial assistance may also be available from the RVCC Foundation. Email Stephanie.Smullen@raritanval.edu.

How soon will my Cares Federal Emergency Assistance application be processed?
The College will begin processing applications on Friday, September 18, the next business day after the application deadline.

How will I be notified if I received the Cares Federal Emergency Assistance Grant?
An message will be sent to your College email stating that you received a CARES Act grant. The amount of your award will be posted in  the Financial Aid Tab in your Lion’s Den account. A check will be mailed to the address in RVCC’s student enrollment system.

What is the maximum amount of the grant?
The maximum amount of the grant will be determined by the number of applications received and the total amount requested. We anticipate the maximum grant will be $1500 per student. Only one grant will be awarded for each student.

Do I have to provide documentation of the hardship I have incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
No, you do not have to provide additional supporting documentation beyond the FAFSA. Please remember that the pool of funds is limited and needs to be shared with all your fellow students who are experiencing financial hardship.

Will I need to pay back the grant?
No. The grant provides emergency assistance and does not have to be paid back.

Who do I contact if I have questions about applying for the Cares Federal Emergency Assistance Grant?
You can email CaresActApplication@raritanval.edu. You can expect to receive an email response within 24 hours on weekdays.

CARES Act Distribution Information

Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”)), Pub. L. No. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020), directs institutions receiving funds under Section 18004 of the Act to submit (in a time and manner required by the Secretary) a report to the Secretary describing the use of funds distributed from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”). To meet this reporting requirement, the Department of Education has requested the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

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

The College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement establishing its intent to participate in this program. The College intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under this Section of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. RVCC received its grant award notification on April 22, 2020.

2.    The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The total amount of CARES Act funding the College received was $1,909,860.00.

3.    The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 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 9:00 am on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, the total amount of CARES Act disbursements was $1,369,955. As of 9:00 am on Thursday, July 30, 2020, the total amount of CARES Act disbursements was $1,387,130. As of Wednesday, September 9, 2020, no additional money was disbursedAs of 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 8, 2020, the total amount of CARES Act disbursements was $1,867,130. Update – As of 9:00 am on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, the total amount of CARES Act disbursements was $1,909,860. This represents 100% of Raritan Valley Community College’s CARES Act student allocation.

4.    The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

2,570 students are Title IV-eligible, but additional eligibility factors provided by the Department of Education, reduced the number of students that could receive awards under this program.  We had 4,638 potentially eligible students for CARES who completed the 2020-21 FAFSA. Update – RVCC had 2,982 registered students who were eligible for CARES funding for Fall 2020.  

5.    The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

878 students have been awarded as of Tuesday, June 6, 2020. 887 students have been awarded as of 9:00 am on Thursday, July 30, 2020. As of Wednesday, September 9, 2020, no additional students were granted a CARES Act award. As of 12:00 pm on Thursday October 8, 2020, a total of 1,369 students were granted a CARES Act award. Update - As of 9:00 am on Wednesday , December 16, 2020, a total of 1,410 students were granted a CARES Act award.

6.    The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

All students seeking grants from CARES Act funding were required to fill out a CARES Act application and provide responses to a series of questions to assess levels of need. All students enrolled in the spring semester of 2020 were invited to fill out an application. A rubric was developed to quantify the requested need based on the responses of the applicants. Funding levels were set based on the number of eligible applications received. Applications meeting all eligibility requirements (FAFSA-eligible degree or certificate-seeking students that had classes scheduled in the Spring semester of 2020 that were moved from classroom to remote instruction) were allocated funds based on requested need demonstrated within their application. A rubric was developed that collapsed individual award requests into 4 funding categories, with supplemental funding given to the needier students. The goal of the rubric was to equitably distribute 70% of the CARES Act money during the initial round of funding.  A second round of funding (the remaining 30%) will be made available in the fall semester and priority will be given to those students that missed the round-one application deadline.

On Thursday, October 8, 2020 it was determined, because of the limited funds left over from round-one, the grant award would be $1,000 per student.

Update - As of 9:00 am on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, no change was made to the second round of disbursements. Applicants filled out the CARES application and if they met the eligibility requirements, they were awarded a $1,000 grant. (The last grant recipient was awarded the remainder of $730.)

7.  Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Instructions regarding the application process and funding were posted on the Raritan Valley Community College website. A special link was created to access the instructions, FAQs, and the application.

In addition, a special email box was established to assist students who had questions about the application process or needed more information on the first round of CARES awards. The email CaresActApplication@raritanval.edu was established to facilitate answering student inquiries.

Students were also informed of the availability of the application via text message and the emergency notification system. Additionally, students received a link to the application through their College email. The application was available to students from April 28th through May 15th.

*** Summary Information as of Tuesday, June 2, 2020 for the first-round of CARES Act funds

  • The number of applications submitted were 1,055
  • The total amount requested (from both eligible and ineligible students) was $2,957,953
  • 878 students were awarded CARES Act Funding
  • The number of ineligible students were 177
  • The total amount dispersed was $1,369,955
  • Minimum distribution was $700
  • Maximum distribution was $2,075
  • The range for the majority of the awards was between $1,052 and $1,723, and the most common award amount was $1,450
  • Update - As of Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 1,114 applications were received. Total funds requested were $1,387,130.


The following is the breakdown of how students reported that they learned about the first-round of CARES Act grant:

  • ARVEE Chat Bot - 18
  • Athletic Department - 15
  • Counseling Department - 25
  • EOF Department - 30
  • Faculty - 254
  • Office of Disability Services - 6
  • Other - 93
  • Resource Center/Food Pantry - 50
  • RV Connect - 207
  • RVCC Foundation - 93
  • RVCC Website - 253
  • Workforce Training Center - 11

The Second-Round

The second-round of the CARES Act application was posted on the RVCC Website on Wednesday, August 17, 2020. An email was sent out to all registered students alerting them to the application and the eligibility requirements.  The secon-round communications followed the same plan as the first-round.

In addition, a follow-up announcement was made by President McDonough in his daily update. The message stated:  The second round of the CARES Act Federal Student Grants application is now available.  The online application must be received by Thursday, September 17, 2020. Students should make sure they have completed a FASFA before they apply.  FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). All grant checks will be mailed to the address in RVCC’s student information system. If you need to update your mailing address, please complete the Address Verification form. If you have already received a CARES Act Federal Student Grant you will not be eligible for another. For complete eligibility requirements and general CARES Act Student Grant information, visit https://www.raritanval.edu/cares-act

For those not eligible to apply for the CARES Act Federal Student Grants, the RVCC Foundation has reserved some limited funds for which students may qualify. Those interested should complete the RVCC Foundation application at Foundation Application.

***Summary information as of 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 8, 2020

The following is the breakdown of how students reported that they learned about the second–round of CARES Act grants:  (These numbers are based on applications received before checking for duplicate applications.)

  • ARVEE Chat Bot - 27
  • Athletic Department - 11
  • Counseling Department - 41
  • EOF Department - 43
  • Faculty - 89
  • Office of Disability Services - 5
  • Other - 154
  • Resource Center/Food Pantry - 78
  • RV Connect - 307
  • RVCC Foundation - 127
  • RVCC Website - 341
  • Workforce Training Center - 3

The following is the breakdown of CARES Disbursement

  • The number of applications submitted were 1,227 (121 duplicate applications)
  • The total amount requested (from both eligible and ineligible students) was $1,599,860
  • The total amount requested from unduplicated applications was $1449,810
  • 482 students were awarded CARES Act Funding
  • The number of ineligible students were 624 (many received awards in the spring)
  • The total amount dispersed was $482,000
  • Distributions were $1,000 per student

Final Summary Information as of Wednesday, December 16, 2020 for the CARES Act funding

  • The total number of applications processed were 1,410.
  • The total amount of funds disbursed was $1,909,860.
  • 1,410 students were awarded CARES Act Funding.
  • The number of spring awardees was 887.
  • The number of fall awardees was 523.
  • The total amount dispersed in the spring was $1,387,130. The total amount disbursed in the fall was $522,730.
  • The following are the final statistics for the spring awards.
    • N = 887
    • Average award was $1,564
    • Minimum award was $700
    • Maximum award was $2,075
    • Standard Deviation was $350
    • Median award was $1,450
  • The following are the final statistics for the fall awards.
    • N = 523
    • All awards were $1,000
      • The last application processed was for $730 – representing the last amount of CARES funding.

CARES Act Institutional Portion  Click here to view
Quarterly Report Ending 12/31/2020

CARES Act Institutional Portion  Click here to view
Quarterly Report Ending 3/31/21