CARES Act Information
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27 and provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19). The College has spent time reviewing the expansive document and has identified seven provisions that may provide relief for Mercy students.
Below are provisions in the CARES Act that pertain to Mercy students and only provide relief as a result of being COVID-19 related:
- Continuation of federal work-study payments: Permits Mercy to make payments for students through the spring term, even if the student is unable to perform the required work due to campus closures.
- Federal Financial Aid Relief for Students who Withdraw from All the Spring Term Courses:
- Students who withdraw may keep federal Pell and SEOG grants awarded for the spring term.
- Students who withdraw are not obligated to repay the federal Direct Student Loans borrowed for the spring term.
- Students who withdraw maintain pre-Spring 2020 lifetime eligibility for federal Pell grants and federal Direct Student Loans.
- Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) flexibility: Permits Mercy to exclude attempted credits not completed from the quantitative component of the SAP calculation without requiring an appeal.
- Continuing education at affected foreign institutions: Allows Mercy students in study abroad programs that have gone online to continue receiving federal financial aid through June 30, 2020.
- Temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers: Suspends borrowers’ obligations to make payments on their federally held student loans, including Direct and FFELP Loans through September 2020; suspends interest on payments; counts the suspended payments towards payment requirements for forgiveness provisions; and, suspends garnishment of wages, Social Security and tax refunds, among other measures, for borrowers in default during this period.
The measures outlined in bullets 2 and 3 are meant to provide significant relief to students who believe they simply cannot continue this semester and must withdraw. However, we encourage you to take advantage of the flexible grading policy of CE/NE this term, if you are able, so that you do not fall behind in your progress towards graduation. We encourage you to connect with your Student Financial Services counselor and your PACT mentor to better understand how these provisions and the new CE/NE grading policy relate to your situation.
For detailed FAQs on the CARES Act please click here and click on the tab titled "CARES Act Information."
Initial 30-Day CARES Act Fund Report
HIGHER EDUCATION EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND REPORTING DISCLOSURE: EMERGENCY GRANT AID TO STUDENTS
Mercy College acknowledges that a completed and signed Certification and Agreement was returned to the US Department of Education as of April 13, 2020. The College assures that 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act was provided as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Mercy College acknowledges that the total amount of funds the College received from the US Department of Education pursuant to the submitted Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students is $3,523,360.
The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 27, 2020 (as of the 30-day report) is $3,531,150.
The total number of students at Mercy College 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 is 7,237.
The total number of Mercy College students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) is 7,237.
The method used by Mercy College to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much the respective students would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is described as follows:
- Eligible students
- have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA application on file with the College
- enrolled as a matriculated degree-seeking student in Title IV eligible program
- are US citizen or eligible non-citizen
- meet Title IV eligible criteria
- Non-eligible students
- are employees and/or dependents receiving tuition remission
- are not eligible for federal financial aid (including international and undocumented students)
- enrolled in a program that is offered exclusively online
- owe an overpayment of Title IV grants and/or loans
- are in default on a Title IV loan
- have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to fraudulently obtaining Title IV funds and have not returned the funds
- have not repaid Title IV fund received in excess of annual or aggregate limits
- have a state or federal conviction for drug possession or sale
- Distribution of funds for eligible students
- funds distributed based upon EFC ranges as follows
- 0-4,999 EFC will receive $550,
- 5,000-9,999 EFC will receive $450,
- 10,000-14,999 EFC will receive $350, an
- 15,000 EFC and above will receive $250
- funds distributed directly to students either through direct deposit or paper check
- funds distributed based upon EFC ranges as follows
The Mercy College provided guidance concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants as follows (samples linked):
- April 30, 2020 – Email communication to Non-FAFSA filers
- May 6, 2020 – Email communication to students with FAFSA on file
- May 20, 2020 – Email communication to students of eligibility requirements and distribution method