Federal Emergency Grants for Students FAQ

As of June 23, 2020, MACC awarded $1,205,193 to 1,916 students who were adversely impacted by COVID-19 and campus closure. All funds are depleted at this time.

 

What is the CARES Act/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

What is a CARES Act Emergency Grant?

The CARES Act will provide emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, transportation, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

Who is eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grant Funds?

Students who meet the following criteria:
  • Enrolled in spring 2020 courses as of March 13, 2020, which was the date MACC suspended ground-based courses and closed campus operations.
  • Seeking a degree or certificate at MACC
  • Eligible to receive Federal Title IV financial aid programs
  • Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • Have incurred expenses as a result of the disruption to campus operations due to coronavirus.
If you have not yet filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA, you can still complete it online at studentaid.gov. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be distributed to students who are classified as international, DACA, non-degree seeking, visiting, dual credit, or dual enrolled.

How will MACC distribute CARES Act Emergency Grants?

MACC has developed two phases for distributing CARES Act Emergency Grants. Phase 1: Automatic Grants Part A: The CARES Act directed schools to prioritize students who demonstrate the greatest need, which generally translates to students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant program. Therefore, all eligible students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,576 or less will be awarded an automatic award in Phase 1, Part A. The award amounts will range from $450 – $750, and will be based on enrollment status at MACC on March 13 and EFC, as reported on your FAFSA. Part B: As described above, the CARES Act directed schools to prioritize students who demonstrate financial need. Students with an Expected Family Contribution of $5,577 – $12,000 were designated in the second level “need” category. As a result, all students who did not receive a CARES Act Grant under Phase 2, and have an EFC in this range will be awarded an automatic award in Phase 1, Part B. The award amounts will range from $419 – $480, and will be based on enrollment status at MACC on March 13 and EFC, as reported on your FAFSA. Phase 2 MACC understands there are a wide range of students who have been impacted by COVID-19 and have incurred unexpected expenses during the quick transition to remote leaning. We know all of our students experienced a hardship due to the disruption of campus operations in some way. Additional CARES Act Emergency Grants are available to students through an application-based funding request process. Students must meet the eligibility criteria, as described in the “Who is eligible” section above. The grant award amount will vary based on each applicant’s request and available funding. The maximum award amount will be $500. We expect to process funding decisions within five business days after receiving an application, and, if approved, best efforts will be made to process checks within ten business days from decision date.

How Do I Apply for Phase 2 of the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

Students may apply by completing the CARES Act Emergency Grant application. Applications will be available on May 11, 2020. Application deadline is May 29, 2020.
  • Go to myMACC and log in using your MACC account credentials
  • Select Student Tab
  • Select Financial Aid portal (option in left column)
  • Access application on bottom left of page
  • Complete and Submit

How will I know about the funding decision?

After the application is submitted, it will be reviewed within 5 business days. The student will receive a message via their MACC email account notifying them of the decision. If approved, the message will also include how much funding will be awarded.

How will MACC disburse the money?

Once approved, the Business Office will process funding as quickly as possible. Awards will pass through the student’s account, but will not be retained for any unpaid balance. Payments will be issued by check and mailed to the student’s address on file with MACC. Best efforts will be made to process checks within ten business days after the application is approved. Checks will be unable to be cashed after 90 days from issue date.

When will CARES Act Emergency Grant funds be available?

MACC has applied for funding from the federal CARES Act and once we receive that funding from the U.S. Department of Education, we will be able to start distributing grants to students in Phase 1. We anticipate the grants to students in Phase 1 will be disbursed beginning the week of May 22. Recipients will be notified via a message to their MACC email account.

Why didn’t I receive a CARES Act Grant?

Under the U.S. Department of Education rules for this program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. Eligibility for federal student aid will be confirmed by submission of the 2019-2020 FAFSA (including submission of all required verification documents) and confirmation of school-determined eligibility criteria such as degree-seeking status and Satisfactory Academic Progress status. An explanation of the basic eligibility criteria for federal student aid can be found here: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/requirements. If you are eligible for federal aid, but did not receive a CARES Act grant under Phase 1, you can apply for a CARES Act Grant under Phase 2. We know that many families’ income may have been impacted by the pandemic. Families may have also experienced additional expenses associated with the pandemic. Please consider completing the CARES Act Emergency Grant application to request help with your immediate needs.

I received money from Phase 1 but still have need, can I get more money?

Possibly. Phase 2 of the MACC CARES Act Emergency Grant distribution process will be an application-based funding request process. Students who received funding under Phase 1 may apply for a supplement if they have a greater need; however, in order to adequately serve a wider range of students within the MACC community, priority will be given to students who did not receive funding under Phase 1. Consideration for any supplemental application from a Phase 1 recipient will be made after the May 29 priority deadline for Phase 2 grants.

If I did not receive money from Phase 1 will I qualify for Phase 2 distributions?

Possibly. Phase 2 of the MACC CARES Act Emergency Grant distribution process will be an application-based funding request process. Starting on Monday, May 11 eligible students will be able to request up to $500 in Phase 2 CARES Act Emergency Grant funds using the application found under the Financial Aid portal in myMACC.

What if I did not receive money from Phase 1 because I did not complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA but have since completed it and have an EFC under $5,576 and also satisfy all other eligibility criteria?

MACC reviews new FAFSA’s as they are received. If we identify your eligibility for the CARES Act Emergency Grant under Phase 1, we will award it to you. Please note, a valid FAFSA must be received by MACC no later than May 14, 2020 (the last day of the semester) for federal student aid programs for the spring semester. MACC will consider students for Phase 1 grants until May 14, 2020. Students may submit their FAFSA and an application for Phase 2 CARES Act funding beyond May 14. Application priority deadline is May 29; if a Phase 2 application is received and/or a 2019-2020 FAFSA is received after this date, a student’s request will be considered based on available funding. Please note, the 2019-2020 FAFSA deadline is June 30, 2020.

If I do not qualify for any CARES Act funding are there any other emergency funds for which I can apply?

Yes. Students who are not eligible for funding under the CARES Act program may apply for the Director’s Choice Grant program. The Director’s Choice Grant from the Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation (MSLF) is designed to assist Missouri undergraduate students who have an urgent financial need that may prevent the student from continuing his/her degree or program. Students must be at least half-time status and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Potential applicants must contact the Financial Aid Office to confirm eligibility and to obtain an application for consideration. Additionally, unlike CARES Act funds, this grant will impact an applicant’s total financial aid package and will be applied to outstanding institutional charges prior to being refunded to the student.

I got this money as a refund. Does this mean my MACC account balance has been paid off?

No. Distribution of CARES Act funds is made directly to students and has not been applied to outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. As such, receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to MACC during the spring 2020 term or any prior terms. Please check your current account balance to determine what you may still owe.

Can I use this money to pay off my MACC balance?

Yes. MACC is not authorized to apply CARES Act funds toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. However, once the funds are received as a refund, a student may choose to use the funds to pay off their outstanding account balance. To view your Course and Fees Statement on myMACC, follow these steps:
  1. Go to my.macc.edu
  2. Log onto myMACC
  3. Click on the Student tab from the top
  4. Click on the Billing Information tab on the left side bar
  5. Click on Course and Fee Statement found within the My Account Info section
  6. Select a Term (Spring Term 2020) from the drop down box
  7. Click Generate my Course and Fee Statement

Is money received from the CARES Act considered taxable income?

On May 7, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the following to explain how the funds will be treated for tax purposes. Q1: I am a student who received an emergency financial aid grant under section 3504, 18004, or 18008 of the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Is this grant includible in my gross income? A1: No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of 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 includible in your gross income. Q2: I received an emergency financial aid grant under the CARES Act and used some of it to pay for course materials that are now required for online learning because my college or university campus is closed. Can I claim a tuition and fees deduction for the cost of these materials, or treat the cost of these materials as a qualifying education expense for purposes of claiming the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit? A2: No. Because the emergency financial aid grant is not includible in your gross income, 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.

As of June 22, 2021 MACC has awarded $1,205,193 to 1522 students who were adversely impacted by COVID-19. All funds from CRRSAA HEERF II are depleted at this time.

 

What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)?

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, included additional COVID-19 relief through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). This new COVID stimulus bill included $23 billion for higher education institutions and students, using the same Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) model established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

This second round of money is referred to as HEERF II.

What is a HEERF Grant?

HEERF will provide emergency grants to students for any component of their cost of attendance for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, fees and other institutional charges, food, housing, transportation, course materials, technology, health care (including mental health), and child care.

Who is eligible for the HEERF Emergency Grant?

Students who meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled at MACC during the semester for which the Grant is awarded.
  • Seeking a degree or certificate at MACC
  • Priority is given to students with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive Federal Pell Grants
    • Verified by having completed the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as any applicable FAFSA verification requirements
    • If you have not yet filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA, you can still complete it online at studentaid.gov.

Unfortunately, these funds cannot be distributed to students who are classified as international, DACA, non-degree seeking, visiting, dual credit, or dual enrolled.

How will MACC distribute HEERF II Emergency Grants?

MACC has developed two phases for distributing HEERF II Emergency Grants.

Phase 1: Automatic Grants
The HEERF II guidelines directed schools to prioritize students who demonstrate the greatest need, which generally translates to students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant program. Therefore, all eligible students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,711 or less will be awarded an automatic award in Phase 1, as follows:

Students with an Expected Family Contribution of $5,711 or below
(according to their 2020-2021 FAFSA)

Enrolled in spring 2021 semester as of March 1:1-5 hours6-8 hours9-11 hours12 + hours
$500.00$600.00$700.00$800.00

Phase 2

MACC understands there are a wide range of students and their families who have been impacted by the coronavirus and have incurred unexpected expenses. We know all of our students and their families experienced a hardship in some way; therefore, we have set aside a portion of these funds to help students who did not fall into the need-based category described in Phase 1.

Additional HEERF II Emergency Grants are available to students through an application-based funding request process. Students must meet the basic eligibility criteria, as described in the “Who is eligible” section above. The grant award amount will vary based on each applicant’s request and available funding. The maximum award amount will be $1,000. We expect to process funding decisions within five business days after receiving an application. If approved, best efforts will be made to process checks within ten business days from the decision date, if the student has requested the funds to be disbursed directly to them.

How Do I Apply for Phase 2 of the HEERF II Emergency Grant?

Students may apply by completing the HEERF II Emergency Grant application. Applications will be available on March 19, 2021. The application will remain open until all funds are depleted.

  • Go to myMACC and log in using your MACC account credentials
  • Select Student Tab
  • Select Financial Aid portal (option in left column)
  • Access application on bottom left of page
  • Complete and Submit

How will I know about the funding decision?

After the application is submitted, it will be reviewed within 5 business days. The student will receive a message via their MACC email account notifying them of the decision. If approved, the message will also include how much funding will be awarded.

How will MACC disburse the money?

Once approved, the Business Office will process funding as quickly as possible.

If the student requests the Grant to be applied toward any remaining balance on their student account, the Grant will be applied directly to the balance owed. If a credit balance is created as a result, a check will be issued to the student.

If the student requests the Grant to be disbursed directly to them, the awards will pass through the student’s account, but will not be retained for any unpaid balance. Payments will be issued by check and mailed to the student’s address on file with MACC. Best efforts will be made to process checks within ten business days after the application is approved. Checks will be unable to be cashed after 90 days from issue date.

When will HEERF II Emergency Grant funds be available?

MACC has applied for funding from the U.S. Department of Education and will start distributing grants to students in Phase 1 beginning the week of March 15. Recipients will be notified via a message to their MACC email account.

Why didn’t I receive a HEERF II Grant?

If you believe you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and did not receive a HEERF II Emergency Grant, you should email  to inquire about the status of your HEERF II award.

All other students should submit an application under Phase 2.

We know that many families’ income may have been impacted by the pandemic, and families may have also experienced additional expenses associated with the pandemic. Please consider completing the HEERF II Emergency Grant application to request help with your immediate needs.

I received money from Phase 1 but still have need, can I get more money?

Possibly. Phase 2 of the MACC HEERF II Emergency Grant distribution process will be an application-based funding request process. Students who received funding under Phase 1 may apply for a supplement if they have a greater need; however, in order to adequately serve a wider range of students within the MACC community, priority will be given to students who did not receive funding under Phase 1.

What if I did not receive money from Phase 1 because I did not complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA but have since completed it and have an EFC under $5,711 and also satisfy all other eligibility criteria?

MACC reviews new FAFSA’s as they are received. If we identify your eligibility for the Emergency Grant under Phase 1, we will award it to you. Please note, a valid FAFSA must be received by MACC no later than the last day of the semester.

Students may submit applications for Phase 2 HEERF II funding until all funds are depleted.

If I do not qualify for a HEERF Emergency Grant are there any other emergency funds for which I can apply?

Yes. Students who are not eligible for funding under the HEERF Emergency Grants may apply for the Director’s Choice Grant program.

The Director’s Choice Grant is a grant program offered generously by the Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation (MSLF). This program is designed to assist Missouri residents who have an urgent financial need that may prevent the student from continuing their degree or program. Students must be at least half-time status and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Potential applicants must contact the Financial Aid Office to confirm eligibility and to obtain an application for consideration. Additionally, unlike HEERF funds, this grant will impact an applicant’s total financial aid package and will be applied to outstanding institutional charges prior to being refunded to the student.

I got this money as a refund. Does this mean my MACC account balance has been paid off?

No. Distribution of HEERF II Emergency Grants under Phase 1 have been made directly to students and have not been applied to outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. As such, receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to MACC. Please check your current account balance to determine what you may still owe.

Can I use this money to pay off my MACC balance?

Yes. A student may authorize MACC to apply HEERF Emergency Grant funds toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed on their account.

If a student received an automatic payment from Phase 1, they may cash their check and submit payment directly to the MACC Business Office.

All students are invited to complete the Phase 2 application and, within the application, may authorize MACC to apply their HEERF Emergency Grant to their unpaid balance.

To view your Course and Fees Statement on myMACC, follow these steps:

  1. Go to my.www.macc.edu
  2. Log onto myMACC
  3. Click on the Student tab from the top
  4. Click on the Billing Information tab on the left side bar
  5. Click on Course and Fee Statement found within the My Account Info section
  6. Select a Term (Spring Term 2021) from the drop down box
  7. Click Generate my Course and Fee Statement

What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)?

The American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP), included additional COVID-19 relief for higher education institutions and students, using the same Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) model established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

This third round of money is referred to as HEERF III.

What is a HEERF Grant?

HEERF III will provide emergency grants to students for any component of their cost of attendance for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, fees and other institutional charges, food, housing, transportation, course materials, technology, health care (including mental health), and child care.

Who is eligible for the HEERF Emergency Grant?

Students who meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled at MACC on the official date of the semester for which the Grant is awarded
  • Seeking a degree or certificate at MACC
  • Priority is given to students with exceptional financial need, determined by Federal Pell Grant eligibility
    • Verified by having completed the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • If you have not yet filed a 2021-2022 FAFSA, you can still complete it online at StudentAid.Gov

How will MACC distribute HEERF III Emergency Grants?

MACC has developed the following plan for distributing HEERF III Emergency Grants during the 2021-2022 academic year, which includes fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters; as well as, summer 2021 for some health science programs.

There will be no application for the HEERF III Grant.
All degree-seeking students will receive a minimum of $500.
Award amounts will be determined as follows.

The HEERF III guidelines directed schools to prioritize students who demonstrate the greatest need, which generally translates to students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant program. Therefore, all eligible students with a 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) received by the established census date each semester, with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,846 or less will be awarded as follows:

Students with an Expected Family Contribution of $5,846 or below
(according to their 2021-2022 FAFSA)

Enrollment status date
FALL 2021: September 22
SPRING 2022: February 17 
 
1-5 hours6-8 hours9-11 hours12 + hours
$600.00$850.00$1,100.00$1,350.00

If you are degree-seeking at MACC, and your EFC is higher than $5,846 and/or you did not submit a FAFSA to MACC by the designated date, you will receive $600.

Will adjustments be made to my HEERF III award if I submit a FAFSA, make a change to my FAFSA, enroll, or change my schedule after the designated census date?

No adjustments will be made after the designated dates – for any reason.

When will HEERF III Emergency Grant funds be available?

MACC hopes to begin distributing grants to students after March 4. Recipients will be sent a message to their MACC email account to notify of the expected amount and disbursement date.

How will MACC disburse the money?

MACC will automatically disburse HEERF III Emergency Grants directly to students. No application is required. The grants will pass through the student’s account, but will not be retained for any unpaid balance. Payments will be issued by check and mailed to the student’s address on file with MACC. Students should verify their address is correct.

Checks will expire, and will be unable to be cashed after 90 days from issue date.

Can I request additional HEERF III Emergency Grant funds?

No. There will be no application for supplemental funds. MACC developed the current plan to assist all degree-seeking students. We know that many families’ income may have been impacted by the pandemic, and families may have also experienced additional expenses associated with the pandemic. We believe this plan will help all MACC students equitably.

I got this money as a refund. Does this mean my MACC account balance has been paid off?

No. Distribution of HEERF III Emergency Grants are made directly to students and cannot be applied to outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. As such, receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to MACC. Please check your current account balance to determine what you may still owe.

Can I use this money to pay off my MACC balance?

Yes. You may cash your check and submit payment directly to the MACC Business Office. If you are unsure about the balance on your account, you may view your account balance on myMACC, following these steps:

  • login to your account at my.www.macc.edu/ics
  • click on ‘Student’ located on the red menu bar at the top of the page
  • click on ‘Billing Information’ located on the menu on the left side of the page
  • click on the ‘Pay Online’ button (you do not have to pay online to review your balance)
  • follow the steps to create an account (if you do not have an account set up already)
  • ‘Payment Activity’ (this section will give you the balance based on pending financial aid
  • Click on ‘Transaction Details’ for more detailed information

If you have any questions please contact the CARES Act Emergency Grant review team by email at cares@macc.edu.