Information and resources regarding SWVCTC and the COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

CARES ACT

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

CARES ACT Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

Emergency Financial Aid to Students

Statutory Authority:  Section 18004 (e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT), Pub. L. No 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020) provided $761,609 to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College that was restricted for distribution of emergency 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, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

Section 1004(a)(1) requires the following information to be made available in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public within 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation of funds (May 11, 2020) from the Department of Education. The following information includes all required disclosures:

  1. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College signed and returned to the Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution would use, no less than 50% ($761,609) of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  2. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College received a total of $1,523,218 in CARES Act funding pursuant to the Institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. As required the Southern will distribute 50% ($761,609)
  3. As of May 18, 2020, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has disbursed a total of $686,475 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  4. The total number of students at the institution eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 1,017 students.
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 1,017 students.
  6. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College determined that any student who met the eligibility requirements under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and who were not enrolled in 100% online programs prior to March 27, 2020 were financially impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligibility for Section 484 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 was determined by requiring all students to complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA and by a review of each student’s compliance with Standards for Academic Progress (SAP).   Students who failed to complete a FAFSA or comply with SAP were deemed to be ineligible to receive an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.
    1. Southern officials identified the following campuses provided resources that were lost during the disruption of services caused by the Coronavirus:
        1. Under normal operating conditions, Southern provides all students with access to computer labs, printers, photocopiers, and workstations throughout its Logan, Williamson, Boone, Wyoming, and Lincoln locations;
        2. Students on Logan and Williamson campuses have access to physical books through our campus library. Boone, Wyoming, and Lincoln campuses have access to physical books through intercampus library book loans;
        3. Southern provides students who have food security issues access to our on-site student food pantry which was not available during campus closure.Nearly all students who are attending campus-based courses utilize the library, computer hardware, WIFI, photocopiers, software, and printers provided at the campuses, When the Coronavirus forced the closing of our campuses, these resources were no longer available to students. Moving to a 100% online format meant that students had no choice but to obtain these resources on their own.  Southern believes that this factor alone qualifies any student who meets the eligibility requirements under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and who were not previously enrolled in 100% online majors to receive a baseline allocation to cover the cost of acquiring hardware (computers, printers, or other required electronic devices) and to help pay for WIFI access through DSL internet or “hot spot” technology.  These students were eligible to receive a base Emergency Financial Aid Award of $675.

            The remaining funds available will be distributed to future eligible students to cover expenses caused by the disruption of classes that addressed technology issues and food insecurities by the disruption of our campuses. Students were notified about the opportunity in many ways including email and social media advertisements

            Before any Emergency Financial Aid Grants were distributed, each student’s eligibility was confirmed by the financial aid staff’s review of FAFSA and SAP status.

            Southern established a separate refund code to track all CARES’ Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to ensure that funds were not diverted to pay any balances due to Southern for unpaid tuition or fees. Once the disbursements were processed, a notification was sent to Bank Mobile who disbursed the funds based on the individual student’s choice.  Students were permitted to choose to have the funds deposited into a bank account or posted to a prepaid debit card that is valid in all locations that accept Mastercard or Visa.

            Communications to Students. Below is an example of the communication that was sent to awarded students. Students who were not in the pool of eligible students were not notified specifically that they did not qualify for funds.

            Initial Notification to All Students

            April 18, 2020
            Dear Student,

            The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced plans to release Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to students under the CARES Act for delivery to eligible students.

            Southern has not yet received the HEERF funds. Interim President Sam Litteral explained. “Student Financial Aid, the Business Office and Technology Services are all working together to develop a system that will provide students their grant funds as soon as possible. The Department of Education is providing guidelines for eligibility.  This grant provides emergency funds to 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.

            Funds can not be distributed until the final guidelines and eligibility are determined by the Department of Education. Spring 2020 classes were moved online on March 23, 2020 to allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The college will offer all summer 2020 courses online and will waive on-line course fees.

            Southern will continue to use BankMobile Disbursements to deliver all funds to students.  If you have already set up your BankMobile account, you are all set to receive your funds.  If you have not setup your BankMobile account, please contact the Business Office at [email protected] to request assistance in getting your BankMobile account setup.

            We are working on getting answers as quickly as possible and will be in touch with you to provide more information when it becomes available. Please continue to check your Southern e-mail account for more details on how and when these funds will be disbursed.

            Sincerely,
            Chuck Lopez

            Award Notification to Eligible Students

            May 14, 2020
            First Name
            Southern ID Number

            Dear (First Name),

            On April 9, the Secretary of Education for the U.S. Department of Education notified Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (Southern) that, as part of the CARES Act due to the coronavirus pandemic, we would be receiving $761,609 to disburse directly to eligible students in the form of cash grants.

            Eligibility for all students was verified and grants were processed for 1,017 eligible students totaling $686,475.  The refunds are being processed now and will be sent out via the BankMobile refund method that you chose earlier in the semester (direct deposit or BankMobile VIBE deposit). If you have already set up your BankMobile account, you are all set to receive your funds.  If you have not setup your BankMobile account, please contact the Business Office at [email protected] to request assistance in getting your BankMobile account setup.

            The individual grant award amounts were determined by the administration of Southern based on the justification that all students attending classes on our Logan, Williamson, Boone, Wyoming, and Lincoln campuses were in some way financially impacted by the disruption of switching to 100% online courses and the closing of our facilities.

            You are eligible for $675 in CARES Emergency Grant funds. Your CARES funds will be released to you regardless of whether you owe any balance to Southern for current or future classes. This grant provides emergency funds to 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.

            The refunds will take a short amount of time to process, but we anticipate all direct deposit students will receive their funds by Friday, May 22nd. If you do not receive your funds by Tuesday, May 26, 2020 you may contact the Business Office at [email protected].

            If you have eligibility questions about your CARES Emergency Grant, please contact the Southern Financial Aid Office at [email protected].

            Southern Financial Aid Office
            [email protected]
            304-896-7060