CARES Act Funding Gives Students Relief Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) was awarded $2,783,350 in was awarded CARES Act (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I) funding. The grants were provided to colleges and universities to help provide relief to students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Education has stipulated that the following conditions must be met for eligibility of HEERF I Funding.
An eligible student must:
- be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen
- have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
- have a High School Diploma, GED or Completion of High School status in an approved homeschool setting in accordance with applicable state laws
- have registered for Selective Service (males only)
- not have been enrolled in all-online courses on March 13, 2020
- not have defaulted on a student loan
- not owe grant refunds
- not be concurrently enrolled in elementary or secondary (high school)
Additionally, OCCC excluded from eligibility any college employee whose tuition is being or has been waived by OCCC.
Based on these requirements, OCCC projected that roughly half its students were eligible for funding, and those eligible were contacted and given the opportunity to apply.
Oklahoma City Community College enrolls over 17,000 students annually. Thousands more are served in non-credit classes and programs. The college has more than 60 fields of study and offers associate degrees, certifications and leadership opportunities.
For more information and opportunities, visit www.occc.edu, and follow @OtripleC on social media for the latest updates and announcements.
CARES Act Reporting Requirements
Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) has signed and submitted the Certification and Agreement for CARES Act funding to the Department of Education. This data complies with Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act “30-day Fund Report.”
OCCC distributed no less than 50% of the allotted $5,566,700 of Section 18004(a) (1) CARES HEERF I funds to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to OCCC students. OCCC received $2,783,350 from the Department of Education for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. As of October 26, 2020, OCCC distributed $3,130,864.10 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 2,181 students. The College used $347,514.10 of their Institutional share of CARES funding to award all students who responded by the deadline for applicants. The College determined that 5,071 OCCC students met the eligibility requirements to apply for CARES Act HEERF I funding.
Eligibility was determined using criteria set by the Department of Education. To apply for an emergency grant, a student must have been Title IV eligible and achieved Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in their coursework. Each eligible student that applied and was enrolled as of March 23, 2020, in three (3) or more credit hours and at least one face-to-face class at OCCC received an amount that did not exceed $2,048.00.
OCCC students were notified of eligibility via an email to their student email account and a text message to the phone number provided to the College. The link to apply for funding was provided in the email.
Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (HEERF II)
Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) awarded direct payments to students in 2021, using funds provided by the CRRSAA (HEERF II). The funding was awarded to colleges and universities to help continue providing relief to students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CRRSAA grant requires that institutions prioritize student with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants in awarding financial aid grants to students. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to student exclusively enrolled in distance education. On April 21, 2021, The Department of Education released a FAQ that clarified who was eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants.
Institutions may not (1) condition the receipt of financial aid grants to students on continued or future enrollment in the institution, (2) use the financial aid grants to satisfy a student’s outstanding account balance, unless it has obtained the student’s written (or electronic), affirmative consent, or (3) require such consent as a condition of receipt of or eligibility for the financial aid grant.
OCCC had chosen to prioritize the following students enrolled in the 2021 Spring semester:
• Pell Eligible
• Low EFC - For the purposes of prioritizing as low EFC; a student whose EFC was below the annual cost of attendance; demonstrating that the students had unmet financial need to fund their education.
The following are eligible to receive a CRRSAA emergency financial aid grant:
• Students who enrolled in credit or non-credit courses;
• Citizens or nationals of the United States;
• Qualified aliens
The following are not eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant:
• Undocumented students
OCCC received $2,783,350 from the Department of Education for CRSSAA (HEERF II). As of June 30, 2020; OCCC has distributed $3,600,000 in CRSSAA Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 4,807 students. The College used $654,750 of their Institutional share of CARES (HEERF I) funding and $161,900.00 of their Institutional share of CRRSAA (HEERF II) funding to award eligible students. The College had determined that 4,807 OCCC students met the eligibility requirements for CRRSAA funding.
Grant Eligible Population
Total Spring 2021 Enrollment: 10,186
Number of students who are ineligible based on prioritized criteria: 4,807
Eligible prioritized students received a financial grant of $750 and were offered the opportunity to have some or all of their grant applied to their student account balance. The request to have grant funds posted to their student account was required to be submitted via the students’ college email.
Unclaimed Grant Balance
Any unclaimed grant balance may be used for additional grant opportunities for eligible students.
Guideline for Disbursement of Funds:
1. No application was required.
1. Each eligible student received the $750 grant based on the prioritization established by the College. Funds were awarded through the Bursar Office directly to the students account, separate from any account balance they may have, and then the Bursar’s Office deposited the funds to the student’s designated refund preference, or by paper check if they were a concurrent student.
2. Once on the student account, the money was then disbursed directly to the student via the selected refund preference or by paper check for concurrent students.
3. The Disbursement choices for non-concurrent students are:
Direct deposit to the student’s bank account
Deposit to the student’s BankMobile Vibe Account
i. Paper check, mailed after 21 days if no refund preference is selected. (BankMobile was advised to follow the DOE guidelines for Title IV funds) to the verified address.
Total Emergency Grants Disbursed
As of June 30, 2021, OCCC has distributed a combined total of $6,730,864.10 in CARES Act (HEERF I) and CRSSAA (HEERF II) Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 6,202 students.
Archived Quarterly Budget
April - June, 2021 Quarterly Budget
January - March, 2021 Quarterly Budget
Oct - Dec, 2020 Quarterly Budget
Jul - Sep, 2020 Quarterly Budget
Instructions, Directions, and Guidance Provided to Students