COVID Emergency Grants
The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27. Under the act, about $14 billion was allocated to institutions of higher education. The most significant portion of that funding allocation provides $12.56 billion to institutions using a formula based on student enrollment. Of the amount allocated to each institution under this formula, at least 50 percent must be reserved to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
The purpose of the CARES Act emergency fund is to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, childcare expenses, and other expenses caused by the disruption to campus operations.
Morton College (MC) signed and returned to the Department of Education (ED) the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that WE have 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.
MC was awarded $1,266,321.50 to be awarded as emergency grants to students to defray the cost due to COVID-19. We estimate that 2,000 students as eligible for these funds. As of this week, we have awarded/disbursed the following:
|Number of Students||Awarded Amount||Number of Students||Disbursed Amount|
ALL currently enrolled MC students as of March 13, 2020, who are eligible to receive federal financial aid based on their submission of the 2019–20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
This is intended to provide immediate, meaningful assistance to students who already had a significant documented financial need and whose needs have grown during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Students who meet the below requirements will be awarded:
- Complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Meet all Financial Aid Requirements including:
- Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen.
- Have a valid Social Security Number.
- Be registered with Selective Service if you are male over the age of 17.
- Be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program.
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Making satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
- Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans.
- Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
- Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges.
- Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
- Must have received or be eligible to receive a spring 2020 disbursement
- Federal Direct Loan
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Federal Work Study (FWS)
- Monetary Award Program (MAP)
- Must be enrolled in the spring 2020 and actively pursuing your courses
- Must be enrolled as of March 13, 2020
- Complete the electronic certification or application by August 1, 2020
The following students do not qualify for CARES Act Funds:
- Students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program prior to and as of March 13. In approving the CARES Act funding, Congress did not feel that the instruction and programming for these students were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- International students and undocumented students, including Dream Act and DACA students. These students are not eligible for federal financial aid programs, including the CARES Act.
- Students who have not established eligibility for federal financial aid by successfully submitting a 2019–20 FAFSA.
The CARES Act funding from the ED is to be disbursed using federal guidelines and institutional procedures. MC will distribute funds allocated through lump-sum grants to students based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). We will allocate $1,116,321.50 to students we have identified as meeting ALL eligibility requirements.
These funds will be given to students with the most need. In this case it will be students with zero ($0) EFC’s. Zero EFC students are not able to contribute any additional funds towards their educational cost. All other students with EFC’s higher than zero ($0) will be awarded a reduced amount.
One-time, lump-sum grants will be distributed to all students who complete the electronic certification by August 1, . Amounts are determined based on the number of students awarded divided by the total allocated dollars. See the table below:
|Student Category||Total Students||$150,000||$399,870.57||$716,450.94||$1,266,321.50|
|Zero EFC’s||928||$772.04||57% of Funds|
|All other EFC's||575||$695.42||32% of Funds|
|All Other Students||Phase 2 Allocation will be $695||11% of Funds|
Students who receive Phase 1 grants will be notified through their Morton College email accounts. Students must complete the certification and submit it through their Morton College email account by the August 1st deadline. Certifications submitted through other email domains (i.e. gmail. yahoo, etc.) will not be accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Morton College recognizes there are students who QUALIFY for financial aid but did not complete the process. Our goal is to make funds available to all students who are indeed eligible for COVID-19 Emergency Grants. Therefore, we have allocated $150,000 for students to self-identify as being eligible by completing the COVID-19 Emergency Fund Application. Funds will be awarded on a first come first serves basis until the allocation is depleted.
Students who wish to apply for Phase 2 grants must complete the application and submit it through their Morton College email account on time. Applications submitted through other emails will not be accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Distribution of Funds
If you complete the certification process or are approved for funding, funds will be distributed in the following manner:
- Students who have direct deposit information on file will be paid through direct deposit. This is the preferred method and quickest method to receive your refund. Students can set up on direct deposit in their Panther Portal.
- Checks will be mailed to all students who do not have direct deposit. There could be a delay of 2 to 3 weeks before receiving funds under this method.
The Office of Financial Aid is prepared to respond quickly to certifications and applications after determining eligibility based on each student's circumstances. Disbursements will become available 7 to 10 business days after receipt of certification or application.
Please do not send inquires to the financial aid COVID email address as this will prolong processing time for certifications and reviewing of applications. Monitor you MC email address and FA Self-Service to see if your award has been processed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Morton College (MC) understands that many of our students are experiencing expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 national crisis. MC received a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) grant created under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be used to advance our commitment to helping our students affected by the current COVID-19 crisis.
MC was awarded $1,266,321.50 to distribute to students who qualify for an emergency grant.
Funding provided to MC under the CARES Act is available to Title IV eligible enrolled students affected by COVID-19. Title IV eligible students are those with a completed and processed 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. If you are eligible and have experienced financial emergency expenses, such as housing, food, technology, child care, or health costs, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and MC campus closures please apply.
Examples of eligibility requirements include but not limited to the following:
- Being able to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA ®)
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Residen
- Be enrolled in a financial aid eligible program.
- No be in default on a student loan
- Complete Secondary Schooling
- Not have an overpayment to the Education Department
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Standards (SAP)
Yes, unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education will not allow these grants to be allocated to the following groups:
- Undocumented students.
- International students.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- Students who were enrolled in only online courses for the spring term.
- Students enrolled in adult education or high-school equivalency courses.
- Students who are enrolled in continuing education or dual credit courses.
- Students who withdrew from ALL enrolled courses before the President declared the pandemic (March 13, 2020).
- Federal regulations require that these funds go to those students with the greatest need. In order to determine those with the greatest need MC will use the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA.
- One part of the allocation for emergency grants will be reserved for student with an zero ($0) EFC.
- Another part of the allocation for emergency grants will be reserved for students with EFC’s of $1 or higher.
- Lastly, $150,000 will be reserved for students to apply individually for consideration. This process is for students who were not awarded previously from the fund and didn’t receive a federal payment.
- Students who received a financial aid payment (PELL, MAP, SEOG, FWS) during the spring 2020 term will automatically receive a payment once they complete the electronic certification.
- All other students will need to complete and submit the FAFSA, meet ALL financial aid requirements and complete the COVID-19 application in order to receive a payment.
If you have not suffered a loss you are not eligible to receive an COVID-19 Student Emergency Grant. You must indicate the loss on the electronic certification or application.
- Housing from campus living to securing new housing
- Child Care
The last day to apply is August 1,, 2020.
Once students submit the electronic certification they can expect payment within 10 business days after submission.
No. These are emergency payments that will be made directly to the student. If you currently have a financial debt with the college, you are still responsible to fulfill your financial obligation to avoid late/collection fees.
Unfortunately, there is no appeal process or escalated complaint department. These funds are governed by federal regulations. MC must follow the guidance in place when disbursing and awarding these funds.
No. Per federal regulations MC must provide these emergency grants directly to you. You must remember to satisfy all outstanding debts to the college on your own.
We will disburse funds to all eligible students as of May 11th automatically who complete the electronic certification. Students have up to August 1, 2020 to apply for funding if they weren’t previously awarded. Should funds remain after August 1, 2020 MC will go back and disburse funds evenly amongst the students who received an emergency grant.
These funds are to help cover the loss incurred due to the college moving instruction online. Should funds remain after covering your loss you should use these funds to cover additional educational expenses incurred.
Unfortunately, due to campus closures students cannot pick up refund checks. For quicker processing students should enroll in direct deposit by accessing this feature through Panther Portal. Click here for more information on direct deposit. For more information please contact the Cashier’s Office at 708.656.8000 Ext. 2268.
Students may log into their FAFSA portal at www.fafsa.ed.gov and download a copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC will be located at the top of the page. If you need assistance getting into your FAFSA portal please contact 1-800-433-3243.
Please note: Due to privacy restrictions we are not able to provide EFC information over the phone or via email.
Thank you for attending last week’s CARES Act and other MC Resources Virtual Cafecito. In case you missed it, you can view the recording below.
Please visit https://www.morton.edu/cares-act-heerf/ to get additional information on the CARES Act, and continue to visit https://www.morton.edu/covid-19-morton-college-response/ to learn about additional resources for our college community.