COVID-19 Relief

CARES Act Allocation

Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) received an allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act under Section 18004(a)(1) in the amount of $1,862,031. BRCC signed and returned to the Department of Education 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 was allotted $931,016 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The College was also allotted institutional funds in the amount of $931,015 as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Institutional Grant of the CARES Act. This allotment will be utilized in accordance with the CARES Act guidelines. Initial guidance states that these funds are to be directed toward costs associated with the significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. BRCC awaits further guidance from the Department of Education and the Virginia Community College System regarding the allowable methodology for expending this second half of CARES Act funding.

Quarterly Reports

A report titled “Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting Under Cares Act Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, 18004(a)(2), and 18004 (a)(3) if applicable” can be found by clicking here. This report specifies how BRCC expended institutional funds received under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grant of the CARES ACT sections 18004(a)(1) and Strengthening Institutions Program 18004(a)(2). BRCC received no funds under 18004(a)(3).

Quarterly Reports

CRRSAA Allocation

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.

Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) received an allocation from the CRRSAA Act under Section 18004(a)(1) in the amount of $4,228,308. Of this funding, BRCC intends to use no less than $931,016 from the U.S. Department of Education as emergency grants for students.

BRCC awaits further guidance from the Department of Education and the Virginia Community College System regarding the allowable methodology for expending the remaining portion of CRRSAA funding.

Distribution of Funds

As of May 12, 2020, $835,595 has been received by BRCC and distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

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 is 1,581.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been processed under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 12, 2020, is 1,035.

As of March 15, 2021, $659,689 has been received by BRCC and distributed to students under the CRRSAA (HEERF II).

The total number of students for whom CRRSAA Financial Aid Grants have been processed under March 15, 2021, is 776.

Eligibility

CARES:

BRCC disbursed approximately 90% of the funds, or $835,595 without further application to students whose Title IV eligibility had already been established in accordance with Section 484 of the Higher Education Act. In accordance with the CARES Act, BRCC directed funds to students who demonstrated the most financial need as per the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file. The following additional criteria were used to determine funds disbursement:

  • Students were enrolled in 6 or more credits during the Spring 2020 semester
  • Students were NOT enrolled in all online course work as of 3/13/2020
  • Students had an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of $15,000 or less per the FAFSA

CRRSAA:

BRCC disbursed approximately 70% of the funds, or $659,689 without further application to students whose Title IV eligibility had already been established in accordance with Section 484 of the Higher Education Act. In accordance with the CRRSAA Act, BRCC directed funds to students who demonstrated the most financial need as per the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file. The following additional criteria were used to determine funds disbursement:

  • Students were enrolled in 6 or more credits during the Spring 2021 semester
  • Students had an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of $6,000 or less per the FAFSA

Method

CARES:

The method used to determine how much students would receive under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act is as follows:

  • 60% (approximately) of funding was made to dependent students as per the FAFSA on file
    • Total funding for dependent students - $501,930
    • Total number of dependent students meeting criteria – 702
    • Awards made at $715 per dependent student
  • 40% (approximately) of funding was made to independent students as per the FAFSA on file
    • Total funding for independent students - $334,665
    • Total number of independent students meeting criteria – 333
    • Awards made at $1,005 per independent student

CRRSAA:

The method used to determine how much students would receive under the Act is as follows:

From the initial 70% of disbursement:

  • 45% (approximately) of funding was made to dependent students as per the FAFSA on file
    • Total funding for dependent students - $293,869
    • Total number of dependent students meeting criteria – 412
    • Awards made at $715 per dependent student
  • 55% (approximately) of funding was made to independent students as per the FAFSA on file
    • Total funding for independent students - $365,820
    • Total number of independent students meeting criteria – 333
    • Awards made at $1,005 per independent student

Individual awards were made on a per-application basis to students indicating they had a Covid-related expense. Additionally, on September 28, 2021, a second round of disbursements was made from a combination of the remaining CRRSAA funds ($220,827) and ARP funds ($291,173). Please see below for details on methodology.

Funds were disbursed directly to students. If a student owed a balance to BRCC, these funds were not applied to that balance. Disbursements were sent to students per their previously selected refund method (direct deposit or paper check).

ARP:

From January 11, 2022 to March 11, 2022, remaining ARP funds were awarded on a case-by-case basis to students with Covid-related financial needs.  

To use the remaining funds before the stated deadline, an additional large population award was made on March 11, 2022. Eligible students who remained in at least 6 active credits after the Spring 2022 Census Date were awarded a grant from the remaining ARP funds. Students in this category with an EFC of 14500 or below were awarded $750. Students in this group with an EFC higher than 14500 or who had not completed the FAFSA were awarded $365.

For more information regarding requirements, see Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting- Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

Remaining Funds

CARES:

The remaining approximately 10% of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants funding, or $95,421 will be disbursed on a case-by-case basis to applicants not fully meeting the model above but meeting Title IV and CARES Act requirements.

CRRSAA:

CRRSAA: The remaining approximately 30% of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants funding, or $271,327 will be disbursed on a case-by-case basis to applicants not fully meeting the model above but meeting CRRSAA requirements.

ARP:

ARP: The remaining ARP funds will be awarded on a case-by-case basis to students with Covid-related financial needs.  Additional population-based disbursements may also be made.

For more information regarding requirements, see Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting- Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

Use of Funds

Note that the Department of Education required that these grants be sent directly to students and not be directed to any unpaid tuition account balances. If a student has an unpaid balance, it has not been deducted that from this payment. CARES Act funds may be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. If a student has an unpaid balance, the CARES funds may be used to make a payment if the student so chooses.

COVID-19 and Financial Aid

Updates

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been processed under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 18, 2020, is 1,043 for a total amount of $844,635.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been processed under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of November 4, 2020, is 1,079 for a total amount of $878,205

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been processed under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of January 12, 2021, is 1,090 for a total amount of $887,810.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been processed under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of March 15, 2021 is 1148 for a total amount of $931,016. All student-designated CARES act funds have been exhausted.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants (HEERF II) have been processed under CRRSAA Act as of June 22, 2021 is 812 for a total amount of $692,679.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants (HEERF II) have been processed under CRRSAA Act as of September 22, 2021 is 827 for a total amount of $706,034.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants (HEERF II) that have been processed under CRRSAA Act as of January 11, 2022 is 1053 for a total amount of $931,016. All student-designated CRRSAA funds have been exhausted.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants (HEERF III) that have been processed under the ARP Act as of January 11, 2022 is 2667 for  total amount of $2,684,133.

The total number of students for whom Emergency Financial Aid Grants (HEERF III) that have been processed under the ARP Act as of March 11, 2022 is 4457 for  total amount of $3,765,858.