CARES Act

Northern Students:

You may have heard that the federal government is providing special Covid-19 emergency grants to college students. As we prepare to distribute this funding to eligible students, we are sharing information to help you understand how you may be impacted.

Students with Questions about the CARES Act/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding should contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@nnmc.edu

What is the CARES Act?
On March 27, Congress passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act” (CARES) to provide economic relief to individuals for hardships experienced during the Covid-19 crisis.

How does the CARES Act Impact College Students?
The CARES Act provides colleges with funds to be distributed directly to eligible students for their “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.”

Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?
Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid can be considered for these funds. The Financial Aid Office will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20 and need assistance, please file a FAFSA at studentaid.gov. For assistance with your FAFSA, please contact finaid@nnmc.edu. Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at Northern.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated/non-degree seeking students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?
Northern has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education, and will distribute grants to students based on their enrollment status and financial need beginning the week of May 4th. Recipients will be notified via their NNMC Eagle email account.

Why wouldn’t I receive a CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grant?
Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. Students who have not yet done so are encouraged to work with the Financial Aid Office to fill out the FAFSA, which will help us determine eligibility for a CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grant.

Will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grants be Applied to Outstanding Balances on my Student Account?
No, these grants will not be applied to outstanding balances on student accounts and are intended to provide immediately accessible funds to students.

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education, Northern is required to share the following consumer information regarding its distribution of CARES Act funding. If you have further questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@nnmc.edu"

1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that 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.

On April 13, 2020 Northern’s President, Dr. Richard Bailey signed and returned the CARES Act Certification and Agreement documents to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) which effectively authorized the Secretary of Education to allocate Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to Northern New Mexico College. In response, on April 28, 2020 Northern New Mexico College received the CARES Act Grant Award Notification.  The College intends to use no less than 50% of the total funds allocated to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students who were enrolled during the 2020 spring semester for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The total amount of CARE Act funds allocated to Northern New Mexico College is $1,051,562.   Fifty percent of the funds or five hundred twenty five thousand seven hundred and eight one dollars ($525,781) have been received from the Department to use for emergency grants to eligible Northern students.

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

As of May 8, 2020 a total of $426,343.33 has been awarded to eligible students.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

An estimated total of 702 students enrolled in the Spring 2020 term were identified as potentially 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.

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of May 7, 2020 535 students met all CARES Act funding requirements and were awarded Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  One hundred sixty three (163) students may become eligible to receive emergency funding and will be awarded as their eligibility to participate in Title IV programs is determined.

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

In awarding Emergency Financial Aid Grants, Northern first identified which students were enrolled on the March 13, 2020 date when the Coronavirus national emergency declaration was made.  Then students who were determined to be eligible to participate in Title IV programs were identified (535 students).  These students met Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, did not owe an overpayment of federal aid, were not in default on a federal student loan, were degree seeking, and were thus determined to be eligible to participate in Title IV programs as the CARES Act guidance specified.  It is important to note that students that were determined to be enrolled completely in online courses at the time of the emergency declaration were eliminated from receiving a CARES Act award.

In determining the award amounts a weighted point system was used:  40% for the unmet need and 60% for the number of credits enrolled in at the time of the campus disruption and move to online studies.

Award amounts averaged $795 and varied between a minimum award of $129 and a maximum award of $1299.

An amount of $99,437.67 has yet to be awarded

7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

On Monday, May 4th, 2020 an email regarding the CARES Act Emergency Funding was broadcast to the entire campus to include students, staff and faculty.  This communication was in the form of a frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format intended to be simple and clear information about the emergency funding:

Dear Northern Students,

You may have heard that the federal government is providing special Covid-19 emergency grants to college students. As we prepare to distribute this funding to eligible students, we are sharing information to help you understand how you may be impacted.Students with Questions about the CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding should contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@nnmc.edu

What is the CARES Act?

On March 27, Congress passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act” (CARES) to provide economic relief to individuals for hardships experienced during the Covid-19 crisis.

How does the CARES Act Impact College Students?

The CARES Act provides colleges with funds to be distributed directly to eligible students for their “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.”

Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?

Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid can be considered for these funds. The Financial Aid Office will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20 and need assistance, please file a FAFSA at studentaid.gov. For assistance with your FAFSA, please contact finaid@nnmc.edu. Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at Northern.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated/non-degree seeking students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?

Northern has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education, and will distribute grants to students based on their enrollment status and financial need beginning the week of May 4th. Recipients will be notified via their NNMC Eagle email account.

Why wouldn’t I receive a CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grant?

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. Students who have not yet done so are encouraged to work with the Financial Aid Office to fill out the FAFSA, which will help us determine eligibility for a CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grant. 

Will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grants be Applied to Outstanding Balances on my Student Account?

No, these grants will not be applied to outstanding balances on student accounts and are intended to provide immediately accessible funds to students.

In addition, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 the following communication was emailed to the students who were identified as eligible to receive an initial emergency CARE Act award:

 

Dear Northern Student,

This is the Financial Aid Office at Northern New Mexico College notifying you that you are eligible to receive Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds as authorized by the CARES Act. CARES Act/ Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds are intended to help with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.

Northern has begun the process to distribute funds to eligible students. The amount of your award will be based on your enrollment status for the spring 2020 semester and your unmet need as determined by your FAFSA information. Once awarded, the funds will be deposited via electronic funds transfer to the bank account that you have set up in the TouchNet system. 

For your safety and to ensure you receive payment as quickly as possible, please verify your direct deposit information via TouchNet . Click here for step-by-step instructions.  If you are not able to receive your refund by means of electronic funds transfer, a paper check will be produced and you will be notified via email about a date and time that the check can be picked up at Northern’s Española campus. 

If you have questions, please email our office at finaid@nnmc.edu

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