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Federal CARES Act Reporting Disclosure

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Virginia Tech signed the Funding and Certification Agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 24, 2020.  It was returned to the U.S. Department of Education on April 27, 2020.  Virginia Tech used no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Virginia Tech received $9,699,494 from the U.S. Department of Education for Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

As of August 13, 2020, Virginia Tech has awarded 12,106 students $9,699,494 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act.  At the end of June, Virginia Tech canceled 1,005 students’ grants who had not accepted the award after 3 e-mails and at least one phone call.  All of Virginia Tech CARES funds have been awarded at this time.

Virginia Tech estimates that it had up to 19,461 Title IV eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled for the spring 2020 semester.  This estimate is based on the number of potential valid FAFSAs filed by Virginia Tech students and their families.

Virginia Tech used a multi-faceted approach to award the Federal CARES Act funds.  Students were automatically selected and students may also apply for the grant.  The students who were automatically selected were:

·       Federal Pell Grant recipients;

·       Undergraduate students who borrowed a Federal Direct subsidized loan on or before April 15, 2020; and,

·       Graduate and Professional students who borrowed a Federal Direct unsubsidized loan on or before April 15, 2020.

All other Title IV eligible students could have applied for the Federal CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants (or an increase to their existing grant) using the Dean of Students Emergency Grant Fund portal.  The portal was closed to new applications on June 20, 2020.

Students were awarded $500 - $3,000 based on the student’s eligibility.  All students who are Title IV eligible may apply for the Federal Cares Act Grant and their grant is based on need, as determined by the application, and will not exceed $3,000.  Students were awarded grants automatically as follows:

·       Pell Grant recipients enrolled in spring received $500.

·       Undergraduate students who had borrowed a Federal Direct subsidized loan on or before April 15, 2020, were automatically awarded $500 (Pell Grant recipients who borrowed a subsidized loan received an additional $500 for a total grant in the amount of $1,000);

·       Graduate students who had borrowed a Federal Direct unsubsidized loan on or before April 15, 2020 received $500;

·       Health Profession students (i.e. DVM and MD) who had borrowed a Federal Direct unsubsidized loan on or before April 15, 2020 received $1,000.

If any of the above populations had been employed in a Virginia non-federal work study wage position, the student’s average earnings were used as an impact gauge and the student was awarded a Federal CARES Act Grant equal to that amount.

June 26, 2020 Update:

Beginning on June 8, 2020, VT e-mailed all students who were awarded a CARES Act Grant and had not yet accepted the award.  Students were given until June 26 to accept the award.

On June 1, Virginia Tech conducted a second automatic awarding.  The students were selected were:

·       Undergraduate students who borrowed the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan during the spring 2020 semester; and,

·       All other graduate students who had a FAFSA on file for the 2019-2020 academic year and had not previously received a CARES Act Grant.

Both populations received $400 in a Federal CARES Act Grant.

On June 19 and 22, all students in the above two populations who had not accepted their award were sent an e-mail reminder to do so by June 26.

On June 18, 2020, Virginia Tech increased all CARES Grants for undergraduate students by $200 who had:

·       A paid CARES Grant in the initial amount between $500 and $1,000; and,

·       Enrolled for the fall 2020 semester for at least 1 credit hour.

On June 18, Virginia Tech increased the CARES Grants for DVM students who were not able to obtain clinical hours due to social distancing and therefore could not be enrolled for the summer term. 

Between June 19 and June 24, all students who had not accepted their CARES Grant were called at the phone number attached to their student record to advise them that they had not completed their requirements to receive the award.  Students were told that they had until June 26, 2020 to accept the award.

August 13, 2020 Update:

Three populations of students who had not previously received an increase to their CARES Grant, received additional funds.  Below are the defined populations and additional amounts they were awarded:

Undergraduate students who:

·       received a Subsidized Loan or Pell Grant in 2019-2020;

·       have fall 2020 enrolled hours as of July 29, 2020; and,

·       had not previously received the additional amount due to non-enrollment on June 18, received an increase of $210.

Graduate students who previously received less than $1,200; are enrolled for the fall 2020, received:

  • An increase that takes their total CARES award to $1,200 if previously received between $1,000 and $1,199; or,
  • An increase of $300.

 

Undergraduate students who received a previous CARES Grant; are enrolled for the fall 2020 semester; have 2021 Pell Grant eligibility will received:

  • An increase that takes their total CARES award to $1,009 if previously received between $800 and $999;
  • An increase of $210 if previously received between $500 and $700; and,
  • An increase of $209 if previously received $400.

 

Communications:

 

All students awarded a Federal CARES Act Grant received the following e-mail to explain the award, and had to accept the award through Virginia Tech’s Scholarship Central, which is published after the e-mail.

 

Dear Student,

You were recently awarded funding from the CARES Act to help you cover expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can view your award in HokieSPA.  You will see it listed as FACARE – Federal Cares Act Grant for the 2019-2020 school year.  

This award requires that you certify that you will use the funds for the allowable expenses outlined in the certification and that you are eligible to receive federal student aid (Title IV aid), either the Federal Pell grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, and/or Federal Direct Loans.  You do not have to have accepted loans if they were offered to you.

Once you complete your certification statement, it will take up to 72 hours to apply to your Bursar account.  CARES Act funds will not be applied to any outstanding balance you may have with the university.  The Office of the Bursar is processing refunds twice a week and cutting checks once a week.

If you have direct deposit, your refund will be generated the Monday or Wednesday after the CARES Act funds post to your Bursar account.  Once your refund is generated, it may take up to an additional 48-72 for the funds to appear in your designated bank account.

If you receive a check refund, the Bursar is cutting checks on Fridays; therefore, your check will be issued the following Friday after funds post to your Bursar account.  If you want to set-up direct deposit, you may do so via HokieSPA.  The Bursar also has information on its website at:  https://www.bursar.vt.edu/refunds1/refunds.html.

Your next steps:

1.     You will receive an email from “Virginia Tech Scholarship Central no-reply@academicworks.com”.  This is a legitimate email from our scholarship platform.  It will contain a link for you to accept the award and complete the certification.  Make sure you complete both steps.  You will need to login with your Virginia Tech credentials.

2.     You will not receive a confirmation email, please do not email our office asking for confirmation.  Instead monitor your HokieSPA requirements.  Within 48 hours you will see the CARESC – CARES Certification” get updated to a completed status.

3.     Once the certification status is completed allow an additional 24 hours for the funds to be visible on your student account.

4.     The Bursar will refund your funds to the chosen method.

Regards,

University Scholarships and Financial Aid

CARES Act letter