Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) I and CARES Act, 2020

 As part of a federal stimulus package, Moraine Valley Community College has received more than $3 million to assist students with emergency financial-aid grants. To help as many students as possible, the college has extended the deadline to qualify for CARES Act funding until June 30, 2020. The college will now review all applicants that have a verified FAFSA for 2019-20 and 2020-21 in the Financial Aid office by June 30. Funds will be disbursed to students meeting all other eligibility requirements until exhausted. The college’s guidelines will be in keeping with the Department of Education’s requirements.


Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) Spring 2020 Plan:

The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Sections 18004(a) (1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  These funds are provided by the Secretary of Education to an institution for emergency financial aid grants to students under Sections 18004(a) (1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act. The CARES Act expressly requires that institutions provide the emergency financial aid grants to students “for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare).”

In accordance with the provisions of CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, MVCC has established and uses written policies and procedures for verifying an applicant’s eligibility for (HEERF) from FAFSA information. These policies and procedures include:

(1) The time period within which an applicant must request funding.

(2) Method used to select recipients and determine award amounts.

(3) The method by which the College notifies an applicant of the results and approval of funding.

(4) The procedures the College will follow itself or the procedures the College will require from the student

(5) The procedures the College will follow for making referrals to other college resources    available to the student

Application Period

Applications for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund will be made available to students’ effective May 18, 2020, and expires December 1, 2020. Students can apply for funding during this period only and must meet eligibility requirements at time of application.


All students will be notified by email and text messaging regarding the availability of HEERF funds. In addition, information regarding HEERF funds application process will be posted on the college’s website and the student portal. Communications to targeted populations who have not applied for additional support will be sent on a continuous basis until mid-June. Students will be directed to an online application housed on the College’s student portal. Completed applications will be sent to the financial aid office to determine applicants’ initial eligibility. Applications that do not meet criteria set forth by this policy will be forwarded to the Cares Act Supplemental Fund Committee to determine other resources that may be available to the student.

Selection Process

Applications will be directed to the Oversight committee consisting of representatives from Student Development and Finance/Cashiers who will review the applications submitted.  Students will be notified that grant request approvals will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  Students can only receive the funding once; however if a student is in need of additional funds, the student must submit an additional application through the CARES Act Supplemental Fund committee.

The committee members will review the initial application and determine if the student meets all of the HEERF eligible requirements listed below program.

  • Student is Title lV eligible, degree-seeking, currently enrolled at time of application and Title lV eligible as determined by completion of a FAFSA and its associated requirements.
  • Student has courses that were impacted by COVID19 crisis after March 23, 2020.
  • Student has a need caused by COVID19 related issue and the expenses are related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID19 emergency declaration (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare).
  • Amounts requested and expense identified on the application will determine the award amount. The award is $600 (part-time) and $1,000 (full-time) will be determined by a student’s academic load.* Documentation for any amount above $1,000 may be required.

*Award Amounts based on Academic Load:

  • 0-11 credits – $600
  • 12 or greater credits – $1,000


Students approved for relief funding will be notified by email. Notification will include the amount of grant awarded to each student and instructions given to students pertaining to use of funds including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.  The financial aid office will maintain records of applications and award communication for each applicant.

Applicants not meeting award criteria will be sent a communication regarding reasons for ineligibility. Ineligible students will be directed to the Cares Act Supplemental Fund Committee to determine if there are other resources available to the student through the College’s Foundation or within the community.

Award Procedures and Disbursement

The Financial Aid Office will determine final award amount. Awards will be compiled on a master spreadsheet for disbursement. The spreadsheet will be used for reporting purposes per the requirements related to the College’s participation in the program. Information will include student id, name, award amount and justification for action. The Business Office will use the file load process to post-awards on student accounts. The award process will by-pass being used for any account balance incurred prior to March 23, 2020 and be directly disbursed to the student for immediate assistance.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for funding, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Students must have a verified FAFSA on file for either the 2019-20 or2020-21 academic years.
  • Students must be enrolled in a campus-based degree or certificate program.
  • Students must have been enrolled in spring term as of March 23, 2020, or later.
  • Students must be in good academic standing according to the Federal Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress policies.
  • Students must certify that they have incurred eligible expenses related to the closure of MVCC Campuses or the transition to online coursework.

Examples of Expenses Covered by Coronavirus/COVID-19 Emergency funding:

  • Emergency medical and dental expenses
  • Technology/equipment needed to ensure continuity of online learning
  • Homelessness or potential loss of housing
  • Overdue utility bills reaching a turn-off notice
  • Loss of childcare
  • Health insurance
  • Other financial needs arising from individual and/or special circumstances to be determined on a case-by-case basis

Examples of Expenses Not Covered by Coronavirus/COVID-19 Emergency Funding:

  • Anticipated expenses beyond spring 2020 semester
  • Legal fines or expenses
  • Non-essential personal bills
  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred
  • Funds for the replacement of lost or stolen items
  • Debt incurred prior to the Illinois COVID19 emergency declaration

Additional Items to Note

  • Due to the fact that limited funding is available, requests made for expenses beyond the spring 2020 semester may not be considered
  • Funds awarded do not need to be repaid and will not be subject to federal taxes.
  • Award of $600 (part-time) and $1,000 (full-time) for COVID-19 related expenses.
  • Funds awarded could be disbursed through the outlined selection process

Application Process

Complete and submit the online application on the student portal. Applications will be reviewed by the Financial Aid department. Decisions will be communicated to students via email.