CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which allocates funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students with immediate needs related to the disruption of campus due to the COVID-19 crisis.

ArtCenter College of Design has signed and submitted to the Department the Certification and Agreement and intends to provide no less than fifty percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

As a result of this legislation, ArtCenter has been allocated $1,084,115 for institutional support in providing reimbursements for tuition, and other fees as well as $1,084,116 to be distributed as Emergency Financial Aid CARES Grants to eligible students.

Grant Information

As of December 31, 2020, 1,521 grants have been awarded to 883 students for a total of $1,060,300 during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 terms. Grant criteria, the number of awards, and the grant amounts are listed for each term under the Spring, Summer, and Fall Cares Grant information below.

Student Eligibility

In order to qualify for a CARES Act Grant, students must meet all existing Title IV eligibility requirements, which includes completion of a valid 2020-21 FAFSA, as well as the FAFSA verification process. In addition to the FAFSA, students must submit an online application and:

  • be Title IV Eligible
  • be enrolled
  • be in good academic standing
  • not currently be in default
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • if you are male you must have registered for the Selective Service
  • not have graduated or withdrawn

ArtCenter will determine eligibility for these grants based on the above criteria and by using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA along with the online application indicating that students had incurred an eligible expenses according to the guidelines.

Online Application

There have been three application periods to date. Each application period required that students submit a brief application indicating which expenses they incurred as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. The expenses included technology, course materials, housing, food, and health care. Any one of these expenses incurred are eligible.

How much will eligible students receive?

Eligible students will be disbursed grants ranging from $500 to $800 based on their EFC as indicated below.

Fall Cares Grants – Application Period Closed.

It was estimated that 1,235 domestic students who were enrolled for the Fall 2020 semester and had not graduated or permanently withdrawn may have been eligible to participate. Based on the Fall 2020 enrollment, approximately 1,003 ArtCenter Title IV recipients appeared to qualify to receive a grant from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

680 students received a grant and a total of $472,100 was awarded. The grant amounts were based on the FAFSA EFC range listed below.

Summer Cares Grants – Application Period Closed.

It was estimated that 770 domestic students who were enrolled for the Summer 2020 semester and had not graduated or permanently withdrawn may have been eligible to participate. Based on the Summer 2020 enrollment, approximately 618 ArtCenter Title IV recipients appeared to qualify to receive a grant from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

337 students received a grant and a total of $237,600 was awarded. The grant amounts were based on the FAFSA EFC range listed below.

Spring Cares Grants – Application Period Closed.

It was estimated that 1,190 domestic students who were enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester and had not graduated or permanently withdrawn may have been eligible to participate. Based on the Spring 2020 enrollment, approximately 915 ArtCenter Title IV recipients appeared to qualify to receive a grant from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

504 students received a grant and a total of $350,600 was awarded. Students received grant amounts based on the FAFSA EFC range listed below.

FAFSA EFC

Student EFC

Grant Amount

0-1,000

800

1,001-5,576

700

5,577-10,000

600

10,001-Up

500

Specific details about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.