The following information is required by all institutions involved in distributing emergency funding to students related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Please note: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that funding received through the CARES Act will not be taxed.
Lower Columbia College acknowledges that the institution signed and returned (to the U.S. Department of Education) 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.
The U.S. Department of Education allocated $1,810,047 to Lower Columbia College via the CARES Act. Of that amount, the minimum allocation to students (no less than 50%) is $905,024.
All colleges are required to report 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). Note: initial allocation received April 28, 2020.
May 26, 2020 update: $250,897.91 has been distributed to date.
July 9, 2020 update: $307,607.58 has been distributed to date.
August 24, 2020 update: $581,699.33 has been distributed to date.
October 8, 2020 update: $871,990.58 has been distributed to date.
All colleges are required to report the total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
May 26, 2020 update: To date, 214 students have received aid.
July 9, 2020 update: To date, 250 students have received aid.
October 8, 2020 update: To date, 504 students have received aid.
Following is a description of the method(s) used by Lower Columbia College 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 accordance with Section 18004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, only students who are eligible to receive funding are awarded an emergency financial aid grant. The eligibility used by Lower Columbia College is in alignment with guidance issued regarding students who are eligible for funding through Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and includes those students who are U.S. citizens and have a valid Social Security number, have completed an approved high school credential, and for male students, those who have registered with the Selective Service. For those students who have not completed a FAFSA, other institutional student records, the National Student Loan Database System, and the Selective Service Registration System are used to ensure that this eligibility criteria is met.
Emergency Financial Aid Grant amounts for CARES Act funding are determined by the stated need of the student and funding available. Award amounts shall not exceed the maximum annual Pell Grant award of $6,195 per student, and most awards are $2,000 or less per student. Funding will be disbursed to students on a quarterly basis through March 2021 to assist students with ongoing needs related to COVID-19 impacts and educational disruptions.
To demonstrate need related to COVID-19 impacts, students are required to complete a short online application. As part of the application, students must attest to the following:
The request is related to impacts due to COVID-19.
Funds are subject to eligibility and availability.
Financial assistance provided will be used for educational related expenses such as such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
Applications are screened on a daily basis and those determined eligible are awarded daily by the Financial Aid Office on a first come, first served basis according the date of the student’s application. Checks are mailed to students weekly. All applicants, regardless of eligibility, receive follow up communication on financial and social supports available on campus and within the community. Staff provide wrap-around support to address student needs and to provide access to academic and non-academic support such as tutoring, counseling, and basic needs such as food, housing, and transportation.
The application for Emergency Financial Aid Grants is available on the Lower Columbia College website and is promoted through a variety of methods, including email, social media, the Canvas learning management system, and direct referrals from faculty and staff.