CARES Act Financial Aid

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act, or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial assistance to post-secondary students.

First Coast Technical College (FCTC) signed and returned to the Department of Education the certification and agreement on April 21, 2020. FCTC intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(1)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Who is eligible for CARES act funds?

Title IV eligible students who meet ALL of the following criteria are eligible:

  1. Submit a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA application by June 30, 2020
  2. Enrolled in a 600 hour or more CTE clock hour program
  3. A U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. legal permanent resident)
  4. Have a valid Social Security number
  5. Have a high school diploma, GED or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting
  6. Continuously enrolled as of March 23, 2020
  7. You cannot be in default of a Federal Student Loan
  8. Not owe an overpayment (refund) of a Title IV grant
  9. Must have registered for Selective Service, if male
  10. Must have been meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress on March 23, 2020
  11. Cannot exceed Pell Grant lifetime usage
  12. Cannot owe an overpayment on any Federal Aid Program
  13. Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations
  14. Not have fraudulently received Title IV funds or loans in excess of annal or aggregate limits

What if I haven't submitted a FAFSA for 2019-2020 or 2020-2021?

Students may still be eligible for CARES Act funding but must submit a FAFSA application by the June 30, 2020 deadline. Completed applications typically take the Department of Education 48-72 hours to process. If you are just now completing a FAFSA application, contact Financial Aid at [email protected] to ensure your eligibility is determined before the deadline.

How much funding is available to studentS?

As of May 21, 2020, First Coast Technical College has received $154,178 under the HEERF CARES Act to be awarded to students as emergency financial aid grants.

How many students are eligible?

FCTC estimates that 250 students may be eligible to receive these emergency financial aid grants.

How much has been distributed to students?

To date, FCTC has not distributed CARES Act funds to students. FCTC anticipates funds will be disbursed to eligible students no later than July 31,2020.

How long before I know if I am awarded CARES Act funds?

If you have submitted a FAFSA, and have met all the above guidelines, FCTC anticipates you will receive an email notification no later than July 24, 2020 with funds disbursed to eligible students no later than July 31, 2020

How will I receive cares act funding?

A paper check will be issued. Eligible students will receive an email with a date and time to pick up their check. Eligible students will be required to provide identification and sign a form documenting receipt of the check.

The email will be sent to the email address on record. If there are any changes that need to be made to your email address, please contact registration at [email protected] no later than June 30, 2020.

How much funding from the CARES Act will I get?

The award amount will be determined by the number of eligible students and available funding. The funds will be distributed evenly amongst all eligible students who have met ALL of the qualifying criteria.

Will I receive funding if I have already completed my program?

Yes. Students that were continuously enrolled in a qualified program as of March 23, 2020 until completion of the program are eligible to receive the funding.

For example: If you graduated in May 2020 and were continuously enrolled since March 23, 2020, you will receive funding as long as you have met ALL of the qualifying criteria.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

If your question is not answered in this FAQ, email [email protected]. Emails will be responded to within 48 business hours in the order in which they were received.