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Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students:

On Friday, April 10th Harford Community College signed an agreement to receive an allotment of money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On Saturday April 11th the agreement was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Consistent with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, at least 50 percent of the funds received will be given directly to students.

On April 20, 2020 Harford Community College received $1,171,832.00 from the Department of Education pursuant to Harford Community College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. Harford Community College has been carefully planning for the disbursement of the grant money to students in accordance with federal U.S. Department of Education regulations.

In order to meet the criteria to receive the emergency aid, students must be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. In order to ensure compliance with this requirement, students must have completed a 2019-2020 FAFSA. As June 19th, 6,976 students have completed a 2019-2020 FAFSA.

On May 13th, the disbursement of this emergency financial aid began to 1,038 selected students for an initial disbursement of $519,000.

The methodology for disbursing the emergency financial aid was as follows:

  • Grants of $500 were disbursed to 1,038 Spring 2020 students who remained enrolled in one or more courses throughout the spring semester and have an expected family contribution (EFC) typically between $0-$5,576 as determined by the 2019-2020 FAFSA. Students who have an EFC between this range who attended HCC in a solely online format since the beginning of the Spring semester OR enrolled in courses after March 13th were excluded from this aid.

As of June 19, 2020, 1,105 grants of $500 were disbursed to Spring 2020 students. In total, $555,500 has been disbursed as emergency financial aid grants directly to students.

The methodology for disbursing the emergency financial aid was updated to allow students who were enrolled in spring 2020 in an online format to be eligible for grant funding as long as they were not enrolled in an online degree program. The updated methodology is reflected below:

  • Grants of $500 were disbursed to 1,038 Spring 2020 students who remained enrolled in one or more courses throughout the spring semester and have an expected family contribution (EFC) typically between $0-$5,576 as determined by the 2019-2020 FAFSA. Students who have an EFC between this range who attended HCC in a solely online format since the beginning of the Spring semester OR enrolled in courses after March 13th were excluded from this aid. Students who were eligible for this disbursement received this email (live link on website).
  • Students who completed a FAFSA for 2019-2020 and have an EFC that is greater than $5,576 can use the this link to request CARES emergency financial aid in the amount of $500. Students who withdrew from all courses this spring semester or have been attending HCC solely in an online degree program are not eligible for this grant. Limited funds are available and submission of a form does not guarantee an award. Students who automatically received the grant based on their EFC are not eligible to apply for additional funding. Students who completed the application and met the criteria for disbursement received this email (live link on website).

In completing the application for the funding, students were asked to identify what type of COVID-19 related hardship they were experiencing by selecting either food, housing, utilities, technology, course materials, childcare, healthcare or other. Students were asked to briefly describe the hardship. Students also signed the application which affirmed that the information was true to the best of their knowledge and that they would use the federal grant funds toward COVID-19 pandemic related hardships as submitted in the request. They also acknowledged any financial or tax liability that might come with receiving these funds. Students received a copy of the application. For further questions about funding available to students through the CARES Act email studentaffairs@harford.edu.

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)- Institutional Portion:

On Wednesday, April 22, Harford Community College signed an agreement to receive an allotment of money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act-Institutional Funding. On Monday, April 27, the signed Certification and Agreement for Institutional Funding was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education consistent with Section 18004 (a)(1) and Section 18004(c), of the CARES Act.

On Thursday, May 7, 2020, Harford Community College received $1,171,832.00 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to Harford Community College’s Certification and Agreement for the Institutional Portion. Harford Community College’s President’s Cabinet previously met to develop a plan to capture the costs incurred by the institution. A way forward was discussed based on the COVID-19 disruption caused to students. It was determined that it was important to increase and enhance online instruction anticipating that summer and fall classes were to be heavily reliant on online instruction for students. These plans were made in collaboration with Harford Community College’s Interim President, the President’s Cabinet, Grants, Finance and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) offices and have been vetted to meet current guidance in accordance with federal U.S. Department of Education regulations. The plan remains fluid in order to respond to the College’s ongoing assistance for students and to comply with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance.

Drawdowns to date:

June 19, 2020 (First Drawdown)

A total of $73,454.67 was a drawdown for the following expenses:

Reimbursement of proctoring software for on-line exams for academic divisions. Software was purchased to support spring, summer and fall on-line exams. Additionally, nursing skills lab kits and proctoring software were purchased for Spring nursing students. The STEM Division also purchased virtual platforms and instructional lab kits to enhance on-line learning for students for both the spring and summer semesters.

Harford Community College, through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), developed an “Online Teaching Academy” during the spring semester to provide a self-paced, two-week training program that was for adjunct and full-time faculty who needed to enhance their online instructional skills. Two different sessions were conducted from May through June so that instructors could begin the summer instruction with stronger sets of skills. The “Online Teaching Academy” also prepared instructors for the beginning of the fall semester where most courses will continue to be conducted online. The Academy was designed by our CETL department and was supported by peer instructors who had obtained mastery of online instruction. Faculty and peer instructors received a stipend for completing the training. The beginning of these faculty stipends is covered in this first drawdown. Additional “Online Teaching Academy” sessions will continue through the summer for more advanced faculty who will be working on content design.

June 26, 2020 (Second Drawdown)

A total of $409,174.44 was a drawdown for the following expenses:

The Community Education, Business and Applied Technology Division had to refund Spring semester continuing education students for classes that were disrupted due to COVID-19 and did not occur or were stopped during the middle of instruction. The majority of refunds were done at 100 percent with some refunds occurring at 50 percent. This was lost revenue to the College and this second draw down included an amount for the Spring affected classes.

Additional faculty stipend pays related to HCC’s “Online Teaching Academy” for the first two sessions conducted in May and June are in this second draw down.

The methodology of internal controls includes the following: Project Director Trevor Jackson confers with the Grants Department to review the planning document for COVID-19 related expenses and, upon his approval, information is submitted to the Finance Department for draw downs. If the funds are used for reimbursements, original accounts are cited for the Finance Department to make corrected journal entries.

HCC financial management systems and internal controls meet the requirements set out in “Part 200 Uniform Requirements” (2.C.FR. Part 2800) to ensure that HCC meets the objectives of the grant. The President’s Cabinet, in collaboration with the Grants Office and Accounting and Finance, review College procedures and DOE regulations and guidance to ensure the following: (a) Effectiveness and efficiency of operations; (b) Reliability of reporting for internal and external use; and (c) compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Harford Community College’s CARES Act Institutional Portion is proportionate to the Student Emergency Funds ($555,500) as the Institutional Portion drawdowns have not exceeded funds that have been allocated to HCC students as of June 30, 2020.

Current Status of CARES Act HEERF Funding:

  Allocations Drawdowns
Allocation Phase I (4/20/2020–4/19/2021)
Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students
   Applied: April 11, 2020
   Award: April 20, 2020–April 19, 2021
   Project Director: Amy Spinnato, Director of Financial Aid
$1,171,832.00 $555,500.00
Allocation Phase II (5/7/2020–5/6/2021)
Recipients’ Institutional Portion
   Applied: April 27, 2020
   Award: May 7, 2020–May 6, 2021
   Project Director: Trevor Jackson, Vice President of Finance
$1,171,832.00 $482,629.11
Totals: $2,343,664.00 $1,038,129.11

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