UPDATE: CARES Act Funding for Students update- 6/26/2020 As of June 26, 2020, 915 eligible students have received the initial distribution of $522 from the CARES Act funding directly paid to students.
On April 9, 2020 the US Department of Education (DOE) informed College and University Presidents of the allocation amounts that would be provided under the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Albany Technical College has signed and returned the certification and agreement form acknowledging that the institution has used or intends to use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.
Albany Technical College (ATC) has been allocated $2,451,149, of which no less than 50% must be reserved to provide immediate assistance to college students whose lives have been disrupted and may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. While each institution has been given discretion on how to distribute funding to students, each institution has a statutory requirement to ensure funds are used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operation due to the Coronavirus; such as food, housing, course material, technology, health care, and child care. As a result, ATC will allocate $1,225,575 to distribute directly to students, enrolled as of March 13, 2020, whose educational efforts have been impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic. While ATC has continued to function through telework, teleconferences, and other methodologies, ATC realizes it is our students who have been impacted to the greatest extent.
- Title IV eligibility (filing a FAFSA or being eligible to file a FAFSA).
- Those enrolled on March 13, 2020 and taking at least one face-to-face class.
However, DOE has placed certain limitations on those who can be the recipients of these funds. Students who are NOT eligible for the CARES Act grant include:
- High school dual enrolled students
- Those who are incarcerated
- A.C.A. students
- Transient students
- Foreign students
Two categories of students are still in question:
- Students who were enrolled exclusively in online classes in 202014 as of March 13, 2020.
- Students enrolled in non-Title IV Technical Certificates of Credit.
Faculty and staff of ATC who are currently taking classes at ATC that are being paid for by the college are not eligible for the CARES Act grant.
We have determined that there were 3072 students enrolled at ATC for the 2020 spring semester (202014). Of this number, 727 were high school students leaving 2345 students potentially eligible to receive CARES Act grant funding (no D.A.C.A., international students, incarcerated students or transient students are included in this number). If all 2345 students were eligible, each student would receive approximately $522.00.
When combining students who were enrolled in 100% online classes and students who were enrolled in Technical Certificates, as of March 13, the total is 1431. When these are subtracted from the potential pool of students (2345), this leaves 914 students that are verified as eligible to receive CARES Act grant funding.
Since there is a question as to the eligibility of 100% online students and TCC students, we have decided to distribute the money in two waves.
- The first wave of distribution will be to those 914 that are verified as eligible. Each student, through their Bank Mobile Card, would receive approximately $522.00. The student would be able to use these funds to cover expenses related to the Covid19 Pandemic.
- The second wave of distribution would cover those enrolled in 100% online and TCC students if determined by DOE and TCSG that they are eligible students under the CARES Act.
- In the event that the 100% online and TCC students are not determined to be eligible, the remaining money will be disbursed to those who have received CARES Act grant funding in the first wave.
Q: I was enrolled in online classes because there was not a face-to-face class offered. Am I eligible because online was my only option?
A: Regardless if online was the only option, you did not experience a disruption to instruction.
Q. How do I know if I am enrolled in a non-Title IV Technical Certificate of Credit?
A: The only Technical Certificate of Credit that is eligible for Title IV funding is BF31 and that is because of the number of hours that are in the TCC.
Q. I was enrolled in online courses but was using the computer labs and internet on campus to complete my assignments because I do not have either at home. When the college closed, I had to purchase a laptop to continue my coursework. Can I be reimbursed for the cost of the laptop?
A: No. When a student enrolls in an online class, they are expected to have the technology (i.e. computer, internet, etc.) to succeed in the course.
Q. I was enrolled in a traditional face-to-face class on March 13th. How can I access my CARES Act grant funds?
A: The funds will be distributed to your Bank Mobile card, where you will have access to them.
Q. If I am in the 2nd wave of distribution because I was enrolled in online classes, when should I expect to receive my CARES Act grant money?
A: That will depend on the Department of Education making 100% online classes eligible for funds. It is not known when or if they will do so. If we receive a notice of approval, the funds will be distributed shortly after that.
Q. In the event the 100% online and TCC students are determined not eligible and I received funding in the first wave, when should I expect to receive money from what’s remaining?
A: If 100% online and TCCs are not approved, we will begin the distribution shortly after we receive notification of that decision.
Q. Does this money have to be used to pay my tuition and fees?
A: No. The funds are provided to assist individuals affected by Covid19 to cover the expenses such as upgrading personal technology, housing, food, or medical expenses.