We have started the process to disburse the CARES Act funds to students. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.
SEARK College has qualified for $1,187,530 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 ($593,765) of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
As outlined in the CARES Act, for a student to receive these funds he/she must be eligible to receive Title IV funds (federal financial aid). This eligibility is ultimately determined by the successful completion of the FAFSA Application and the establishment of disruption due to Covid-19.
Eligibility verification will have multiple “waves” of notifications to students.
Wave 1 – Students who already receive federal financial aid (854 students in this group): This group will receive a digital verification form in their SEARK Email in the next couple of days. Once this verification is completed the funds will be disseminated to students meeting the eligibility requirements as outlined in the CARES Act. This process may take a couple of weeks to complete.
Wave 2- Students who do not currently receive federal financial aid (170 students in this group): This group may still be eligible but will need to contact the SEARK Financial Aid office to determine the next steps to process their eligibility. An email will be sent to their SEARK email letting them know they need to contact the Financial Aid Office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A verification form will be distributed via a DocuSign document to the student’s Seark email. This document must be completed by the student verifying their current contact information and identify their specific Covid-19 related hardships
We know this has been a challenging time and we hope that these funds (for those who qualify) will assist you as we continue to work through this pandemic. We will provide additional updates at 30 days and each 45 days thereafter until the funds are exhausted.
Addendum Cycle 1 Complete (30 Day Update)
Cycle 1 of the CARES Act Distribution is complete. In Cycle 1, 597 students have been awarded the $500 Cares Act Award for a total of $298,500. Remaining are 200+ students who have not completed their verification rosters.
Launch of Cycle 2 – Effective immediately, SEARK College is launching Cycle 2 of the Cares Act awards. This cycle will be dedicated to the 200+ students who are eligible and have not completed the verification form needed to receive the award. Cycle 2 will run through the end of July. Expanded engagement efforts will be made to get eligible students to complete the verification form and receive the awards.
At the end of July 2020, A total amount of $310,500 has been disbursed to students.
Cycle 3 – Any remaining funds will be disbursed evenly among eligible students during the Fall 2020 semester. Additional information will be provided once amounts are determined.
All remaining funds are awarded and disbursed as of 12/31/2020. A total of 583 students were awarded an average $476.44 each for 2020 Fall. The total amount disbursed for 2020 Fall was $278,040.
2021 CARES Act Allocation #2 – Spring 2021
In January of 2021, SEARK College was allocated an additional award of $593,765. Eligibility for this portion of CARES was expanded by legislative action. A Certification of Eligibility was emailed to students as an Adobe DocuSign form. There were 603 students that were awarded $500 each. The total amount disbursed for 2021 Spring was $302,000.
The remaining amount of CARES Act Allocation #2 was awarded in full for Summer 2021. The remaining amount of $292,265 was awarded to 402 students.