As the result of the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act, The Department of Education has distributed funds to colleges and universities which are to be used as direct aid to assist students who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (also referred to as SUNY Poly) has received or will receive federal funding to distribute as emergency grants to students impacted by COVID-19.
These emergency grants will help students manage expenses resulting from the disruption of campus operations caused by the pandemic. Eligible expenses include the cost of food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.
Emergency grants will be limited in number and amount due to funding constraints.
- SUNY Polytechnic Institute (also referred to as SUNY Poly) acknowledges an authorized representative of the institution has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and 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.
- SUNY Poly has been awarded $1,064,755 designated for emergency grants to go directly to students (this amount represents 50 percent of SUNY Poly’s total CARES Act allocation).
- The college originally identified 1,711 students enrolled in the Spring 2020 term who could be eligible. These students received an email with information about the CARES Act, eligibility and a link to the application. Additional guidance expanded eligibility to students who were enrolled in Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses. This increased the number of eligible students to 2,171. These students were also sent an email with information in regards to CARES funds.
- The priority deadline was extended to November 1, 2020. Students were contacted by email on June 23, 2020, October 14, 2020 and October 30, 2020. A text message broadcast was also sent on October 29, 2020.
CARES Act funding distributed by SUNY Poly to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act
|06/18/2020||30 Day Report||SUNY Polytechnic Institute received a Grant Award Notification. As of June 18, 2020 SUNY Poly has yet to distribute any Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.|
|08/24/2020||45 Day Report||Since June 18, 2020 SUNY Poly has distributed $165,277.02 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 123 students.|
|10/15/2020||Quarterly Report||SUNY Poly has distributed $173,877.02 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to a total of 131 students. This is an increase of $8,600 awarded to an additional 8 students since August 24, 2020.|
|12/31/2020||Quarterly report||SUNY Poly has distributed $1,064,956.02 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to a total of 600 students. This is an increase of $891,097 awarded to 469 additional students since October 15, 2020. Having expended all HEERF I (CARES) funds, this is the final quarterly report for HEERF I (CARES).|
The emergency funds are intended to assist students who have experienced a financial hardship as a result of the disruption in campus activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Documentation which illustrates how the hardship is a result of COVID-19 may be required. If the situation qualifies for emergency aid, the funding may be used for eligible expenses under a student's cost of attendance including: food, housing (including shipping and storage expenses), course materials, technology needs for distance learning, transportation, health care, and child care. The funding cannot be used to cover credit card bills, tuition or on-campus room and board.
The Department of Education has stated that these funds are to be distributed to students who are experiencing a hardship that is the result of the disruption in campus activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must be eligible for Title IV Federal Financial Aid (including loans) in order to qualify for CARES Act funds. Aid is available for undergraduate students as well as graduate students. Students enrolled in exclusively online programs are not eligible for HEERF I (CARES) funds.
Students who believe that they have qualifying expenses will be required to submit the CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund Application to apply for the CARES Act funds and certify that the situation was a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. The application requires students to indicate how much they are requesting for each eligible category, verify that the funds will be used to cover qualifying expenses, and that these expenses are equal to or more than the amount of the award. Students will be required to have filed or file a FAFSA application in order to be eligible for funds.
CARES Act grant amounts will be determined after the deadline based upon student response rate. If a student requests more than the initial grant award, they may submit documentation which substantiates the extra amount. This documentation should exhibit how the situation is related campus disruptions resulting from COVID-19 and show the exact cost of the expense. A committee has been established to review all applications and determine students' eligibility. The committee may take into account such factors as how the student was affected, what expenses the student has, and the student's financial need. Priority will likely be given to those students who exhibit higher financial need.
During the first round of HEERF I (CARES) Awarding, students were required to submit an application for funds via a web-based application link. During the first round of CARES (HEERF) awarding, SUNY Polytechnic Institute planned to award Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds in two manners:
- The first method will award a Base Grant to eligible students. Students are required to submit an application, in which they will identify areas of eligible expenses and request an award amount. The maximum base grant award amount will be dependent upon response rate and Expected Family Contribution (EFC):
- Approximately 21% of the allocation will be awarded in the Base Title IV grant category to students with an EFC greater than $5576
- Approximately 59% of the allocation will be awarded in the Base +Pell grant category to students with an EFC less than $5576
- Approximately 21% of the allocation will be reserved for Supplemental/Future awards.
The percentages are dependent upon student response rates. This ensures students who exhibit higher need will receive a larger HEERF award than students who have demonstrated lower need. Students who request less than the calculated base award will receive the amount requested. Students whose request is equal to or more than the calculated award will receive the maximum calculated award.
- The second method will award a Supplemental/Future Grant to students who demonstrate need above the Base Grant amounts.
Please note that due to a lower than expected application response rate, SUNY Poly increased the maximum Base Award to $6,195.
SUNY Poly amended its awarding procedures for a second round of CARES awarding in order to disburse remaining funds. During the second round of CARES (HEERF) awarding, SUNY Polytechnic Institute plans to award Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds in the following manner:
- A Base Grant to eligible students with an award amount dependent upon Federal Pell Grant eligibility
- Approximately 30% of the remaining allocation will be awarded in the Base Title IV grant category to students whose EFC is over the threshold for Pell eligibility.
- Approximately 65% of the remaining allocation will be awarded in the Base grant category to students with an EFC equal to or below the threshold for Pell eligibility.
- Approximately 5% of the remaining allocation will be reserved for Supplemental/Future awards.
Students were required to certify that they had incurred eligible expenses equal to or greater than the calculated base award amount. Students were also able to request a lesser amount. Students who certified that their expenses were equal to or greater than the calculated maximum base award received the maximum award amount. Students who requested a lesser amount received the amount requested. The percentages are dependent upon student response rates. This ensures students who exhibit higher need will receive a larger HEERF award than students who have demonstrated lower need. The application deadline for the second round of CARES funding is November 1, 2020.
Unfortunately, funds are limited and guidance from the Department of Education clearly states that the funds are to be distributed to students who have been impacted. Additionally, students must be eligible for Federal aid in order to qualify for CARES Act funds. Therefore, students' eligibility will be determined through the application process.
Students may apply to receive emergency funds by submitting the CARES ACT Emergency Relief Fund Application. A link to the application was sent to potentially eligible students’ SUNY Poly email addresses. The first round of CARES Act Applications were due by July 6, 2020. A second round of applications was sent to students on October 14, 2020, with an application deadline of November 1, 2020. Please be sure to include any and all documentation which will demonstrate how you were affected by the virus and what expenses you will pay with the funds.
Please keep in mind that guidance on these funds continues to evolve and some of the criteria mentioned may change. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have concerning your financial aid at email@example.com.
CARES Act emergency grants will allow students to manage expenses resulting from the disruption of campus operations caused by the pandemic. Funding received may only be used for eligible expenses, which include the cost of:
- Course materials
- Health care
CARES Act emergency grants will not need to be repaid.
CARES Act emergency grants will not impact your financial aid.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute will post CARES awards onto student accounts and the amount will be refunded to students directly.
Questions? Feel free to email the Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.