CARES Act Emergency Aid
The CARES Act provides federal funds to students to offset the expenses they might have incurred when their college switched from face-to-face to remote learning. That could mean having to buy a computer, buying or upgrading internet access, or increased utility costs from being home, among other expenses.
CARES Act Eligibility
To be eligible for these funds, the federal government requires the following:
- You must be currently enrolled for the spring 2020 semester at Holyoke Community College.
- You must have at least one class that, prior to March 13, 2020, met face-to-face during the spring 2020 semester. Students enrolled in entirely online courses during the spring 2020 semester are not eligible.
- You must be eligible to receive federal financial aid. If you have already completed the FAFSA for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 financial aid award year, that’s great! If you did not complete a FAFSA for either of those award years, complete your 2019-20 FAFSA no later than June 30, 2020.
CARES Act Process
If you meet all three of the eligibility requirements listed above, you will receive a one-time payment of $350 that you do not have to pay back.
If you received financial aid or Pell money this year, you don’t have to do anything; you will automatically receive a direct deposit (if you set it up in Online Services) by May 19. If you prefer your grant by check, it will be mailed to you on or around June 5.
Not sure if you set up direct deposit? To check your preferences, log in to Online Services and go to the eRefund/eBill Statement/Payments/Payment Plan link under the Student Services tab.
If you did not apply for financial aid but believe you are eligible, AND you meet the first two eligibility requirements, please complete this form. We will contact you once we have reviewed your application.
CARES Act Supplemental Grants
We recognize that the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 had a tremendous impact on our students, and some students incurred expenses far beyond $350. If you incurred expenses above $350 that were directly related to HCC’s move to remote teaching and learning, you may be eligible for additional money through a CARES Act Supplemental Grant.
Supplemental Grant Eligibility
To be eligible for a CARES Act Supplemental Grant, you must:
- Meet the three CARES Act eligibility requirements listed above
- Supply receipts or other documentation showing expenses above $350 that are directly related to the college shifting to remote learning
- Complete a supplemental grant application
Supplemental Grant Process
Once you have completed the supplemental grant application and have provided appropriate documentation (including receipts), your application will be reviewed. If approved, you will receive a supplemental grant based on your expenses directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Please note that limited funds are available for Supplemental Grants, so apply as soon as possible.
Once approved, the grant will be distributed to you based on the refund preferences you set up in Online Services. To check your preferences, log in to Online Services and go to the eRefund/eBill Statement/Payments/Payment Plan link under the Student Services tab.
Other Sources of Funds
HCC recognizes that:
- You might not be eligible for CARES Act money but may still be financially impacted by COVID-19 and in need of assistance
- You might be eligible for CARES Act money but need funds beyond what the CARES Act grant/supplemental grant provides
If this describes your situation, you are encouraged to apply for a grant from the President’s Student Emergency Fund. This is also aid that does not have to be paid back.
No, money received through the CARES Act or the President's Student Emergency Fund does not need to be repaid.
The CARES Act grant will not reduce your financial aid. Funds you receive through the President's Student Emergency Fund could impact your financial aid, although it is very unlikely.
Direct deposit grants should be in your account by May 19. Checks will be mailed on or around June 5. To get your money as quickly as possible, log into Online Services to set up your refund preference. Money that is deposited directly into a bank account will come more quickly than a check that comes through the mail.
- Buying or renting a Chromebook or laptop
- Technology accessories
- Tutoring costs
- Internet access
- Utilities based on increased time at home
- Increase in cost of food based on loss of food subsidized by HCC
No. These funds are only for students who are currently enrolled at HCC.