Fair and equitable distribution of the CARES funding provided to help students is of the highest priority for South Central College.  In late March 2020 federal legislation was passed to provide economic relief to individuals and organizations dealing with the ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This legislation-titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act) established a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for colleges and universities in the United States. The following information is provided by South Central College in response to the Department of Education's reporting requirements. 

1. An acknowledgment that the institution 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 of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

South Central College signed and submitted the Certificate and Agreement under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 13, 2020. Acknowledging that the college is using at least 50% of the total allocation for student emergency assistance grants.

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

On April 13, South Central College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement to receive $936,741 in funding to be used to provide Cares emergency assistance grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus to be allocated as follows:

  • Direct Distribution Grants: These were dispersed to Spring 2020 students in May 2020.
    • Planned estimated distribution as of April 2020: 80% of the $936,741 in funding, or $749,393, was designated to provide CARES Direct Distribution Grants to a total of 1,450 students, with 75% ($562,044) allocated for 965 Pell-eligible students and 25% ($187,338) allocated for 515 Non-Pell eligible students.
    • Actual distribution in May 2020: 78% of the $936,741 in funding, or $ 733,467, was used to provide CARES Direct Distribution Grants to a total of 1,406 students, with 75% ($552,244) allocated for 913 Pell-eligible students and 25% ($181,223) allocated for 493 Non-Pell eligible students. These funds were distributed in May 2020.

  • Emergency Fund Grants:  These were made available via an application process beginning in May 2020.
    • Planned funds available as of April 2020:  20% of the 936,741 in funding, or $187,348, was designated to provide CARES Emergency Fund Grants to students.
    • Actual funds available in May 2020: 22% of the 936,741 in funding, or $203,274, were available to provide CARES Emergency Fund Grants to students.  

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter, changed to quarterly reporting beginning on September 30, 2020).

  • Direct Distribution Grants Distributed in May 2020:
    • 913 Pell Eligible Students  received the following grant amounts totaling $552,244:
      • 531 students with 12+ credits each received $733 for a total of $ 389,223.   
      • 173 students with 9-11 credits each received $550 for a total of $ 95,150.  
      • 161 students with 6-8 credits each received $367 for a total of $ 59,087.  
      • 48 students with 5 credits or less each received $183 for a total of $ 8,784.  

    • 493 Non-Pell Eligible Students received the following grant amounts totaling $$181.233:
      • 300 students with 12+ credits each received $437 for a total of $ 131,100. 
      • 92 students with 9-11 credits each received $328 for a total of $ 30,176. 
      • 82 students with 6-8 credits each received $218 for a total of $ 17,876. 
      • 19 students with 5 credits or less each received $109 for a total of $ 2,071.
  • Emergency Fund Grants Distributed in May 2020 - Present:
    • As of 7/1/20:  $27,059
    • As of 8/15/20:  $31,069
    • As of 9/3/20:  $45,999

South Central College will continue to update this data every 45 days.

4. 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. 

Based on student eligibility as defined in item 6, students eligible for funds included:

  • Direct Distribution Grants provided in May 2020: 1,406 eligible students    

  • Emergency Fund Grants provided May 2020 – Present: All eligible students in Spring Semester 2020, Summer Session 2020, and Fall Semester 2020

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  • Direct Distribution Grants provided May 2020:  1,406 recipients

  • Emergency Fund Grants provided May 2020 – Present:
    • As of 7/1/20: 76 recipients
    • As of 8/15/20:  86 recipients
    • As of 9/30/20:  113 recipients

South Central College will continue to update this data every 45 days.

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  • Direct Distribution Grants provided May 2020: Eligible students for Spring Semester 2020 distribution included all students with the exception of those already taking all their classes online prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, those receiving a tuition waiver or having a third party paying for their tuition (e.g. employer), corrections students, apprenticeship students, high school/PSEO students and Farm Business Management students. These grants were provided to eligible students automatically in May 2020 based on 2019-20 federal financial aid records. Students meeting the criteria to receive these grants were sent letters indicating their grant amount and received their grants before the end of the Spring Semester. These funds were distributed based on the number of credits taken in the Spring Semester 2020. See 3 above for details on this distribution.
  • Emergency Fund Grants provided May 2020 – Present: General eligibility requirements for students are the same as those indicated for the Direct Distribution Grants above with the same exceptions. In addition, students who transitioned to online delivery due to a change in delivery methods were deemed eligible.  In addition, there are additional eligibility requirements indicated on the CARES Emergency Fund Grant Application. Students may apply for grants through an online process. Applications are reviewed by the college’s Financial Aid Office, with students receiving a response within two weeks and funds distributed via a paper check or direct deposit.

7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Emails went out to two groups of students in May 2020 prior to Direct Distribution Grants being mailed or direct deposited into students’ accounts. Those students who were eligible for a Direct Distribution Grant were notified they would be receiving one, and that they could also apply for an Emergency Fund Grant. Those who were not eligible for a Direct Distribution Grant received notification that they could apply for an Emergency Fund Grant. The information was also shared on the college’s “Keep Learning” webpage specifically developed to help students navigate and stay on track with their education during the pandemic. Faculty and staff were also provided information and encouraged to let students know about the Emergency Fund Grants. Social workers and counselors also provided information on additional community resources to help impacted students.