Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Report

Capstone College OPE ID 030199-00 received education stabilization funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), Public Law No: 116-136. This Fund Report applies to the student portion received under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that is designated exclusively for emergency financial aid grants to students.   The institution is making the below information available for transparency purposes and in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s (“Department”) Electronic Announcement of May 6, 2020.  For questions or concerns regarding this Fund Report, please contact Mark Hecht, Financial Aid Director, mhecht@capstonecolleges.com.  The college received its allocation on April 25, 2020.  The initial notice is required to be posted 30 after that date and updated every 45 days thereafter.

The institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. 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 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 is $31,231.  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 this Fund Report is $31,266.  The allocation has been fully awarded and disbursed.  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 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, as of the date of this Fund Report is 61.  The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of this Fund Report is 47.

Every attempt was made to provide as much as possible to as many affected students as possible.  The school provided funds in 2 rounds.  The first round concluded May 6, the second round concluded May 20.  The institution determined which students receive emergency financial aid grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as follows:

All students who were active at any time from March 13 through May 20.

Students with an EFC of 20,000 or below.

Group 1:  Students who applied by May 6, 2020 who put on the current year FAFSA that they lived off campus not with parents were awarded $850.  Students who put on the current year FAFSA that they lived with parents were awarded $450.

Group 2:  Students who applied by May 20, 2020 were awarded a prorated amount at 52.5% using the above criteria as funds are limited.  Students who put on the current year FAFSA that they lived off campus not with parents were awarded $446.  Students who put on the current year FAFSA that they lived with parents were awarded $236.

Instructions, directions or guidance provided to students concerning the Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant:

Students were notified of the availability of the Emergency Relief Grant by the school via email.  Students were instructed to complete the application attached to the email.  Students on LOA or who had already graduated were also notified.  All students were encouraged to apply.  Any students that did not fill out the FAFSA were similarly encouraged to apply.  Students that had not applied after 2 weeks were reminded via follow up email, text, and phone call and encouraged to apply.

What is the HEERF CARES Act Emergency Student Grant?
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is part of the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It provides emergency grants from the U.S. Department of Education to eligible students to help cover education-related expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act directs recipients to use the funds they receive for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations resulting from the coronavirus. These include expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care or childcare.

Who is eligible to receive CARES Act Emergency Student Grants?
The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to confirm that students receiving CARES Act emergency grants meet basic eligibility for federal “Title IV” financial aid. These eligibility criteria include having a demonstrated financial need certified by the family-income information provided on the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); being a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen; and being enrolled in a degree or certificate program and making satisfactory academic progress. For a complete list of federal student aid requirements, visit the Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Eligibility Criteria page.

Is there an application process?
Yes.  The application was distributed to eligible students.  Students were notified of their grant awards and checks were prepared in May and June.

When will qualifying students be notified of their selection status and the amount of their grants?
Grant checks were mailed to students May and June.

How did the college determine the amount that students will receive?
The college based the determination on need based on the living arrangements as well as reported on a FAFSA showing the lowest EFC covering the period of time the student is enrolled in the college.  Living off campus not with parents determine more ‘need’ than students living with parents.  Also lower EFC determines more ‘need’.  Students who do not complete a FAFSA are still eligible and encouraged to apply.

Will receiving a grant through the CARES Act HEERF Student Emergency Grant affect my student financial aid?
No. Recipients of the CARES Act HEERF Student Emergency grants will see no impact on the calculation of their full financial need.  You may receive this grant in addition to other aid awarded.

Will receiving a grant through the CARES Act Emergency Student Grant affect a student’s regular financial aid?
No. Recipients of emergency grants will see no impact on the calculation of their full financial need.

Are CARES Act Emergency Student Grants taxable?
No. The grants are not included in gross taxable income.

Can CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Be Used To Pay a Student’s Outstanding Balance?
No, the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to students are intended to go to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses. The disbursement of the emergency student grant must remain unencumbered by the college; debts, charges, fees, or other amounts owed to the college may not be deducted from the emergency financial aid grant.

If a student receives a CARES Act Emergency Grant and subsequently withdraws from the college, will they have to return the grant?
No. The CARES Act Emergency Grant funding is to provide one-time relief to mitigate the disruption caused by COVID-19. In no circumstance will recipients of this grant will have to return any portion of the funds.

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