Disbursement to Higher Ed from CARES Act
This afternoon, April 9, 2020, Secretary DeVos provided a letter with some information on the disbursement of funds to postsecondary schools.
The letter outlines how the most significant portion of the CARES funding will be disbursed and how those funds must be used. Specifically, at least 50% must be used to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Institutions have a lot of discretion on how to achieve using the 50% dedicated to emergency student aid, but ultimately should consider the interests of the students and those with the most need. We suggest institutions take time to properly document their process for doing this and the resulting distributions. An institution is not required to use all the funds allocated to it. If your student population is fortunate enough to be less in need of financial assistance, those allocated funds can be given to other institutions whose students have a greater need for assistance.
In order to obtain this funding under the CARES Act, the institution must have a grants.gov account. If your institution does not have one yet, you can register here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html
In order to draw down the funds a Certificate of Funding and Agreement must be signed by the institution and submitted on the grants.gov site.
This Certificate of Funding and Agreement is essentially a contract with ED that you will use the funds appropriately. It also outlines the reporting requirements to the Secretary for the distributions being made to students. The initial report is due 30 days from the date the Certificate is first signed, then every forty-five days afterwards. It also outlines the general compliance requirements from the CARES Act. The Agreements are then submitted here, once you login to your account.
Schools can find the allocations calculated by the Department by OPE ID and Institution Name on the list provided here.
The funds are separated into two categories, (1) Total Allocation and (2) Minimum Allocation to be Awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
Please contact HMBR, at (312) 946-1800, if you need any further guidance or assistance with submitting your applications or compliance with the CARES Act.