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Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF)

On April 20, 2020, Automotive Training Center (ATC) signed and returned a Certification Agreement to the U.S Department of Education certifying that the school intends to utilize no less than fifty percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to its students.

The total amount of funds that ATC has received in Emergency Financial Aid Grants from the Department for its students is $748,813.  As of May 12, 2020, the amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants funds disbursed to students totals $680,000.

It is estimated that there are 333 students enrolled at ATC who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Federal Financial Aid eligible) and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  As of May 12, 2020, a total of 272 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.

ATC initially used a google survey to determine which students should receive an immediate Emergency Financial Aid Grant, prior to the school receiving the grant funds from the Department of Education.  The survey contained the following:

  • Student name?
    1. Attending campus?
  • Do you have essential living expenses that are DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE DISRUPTION OF CLASSES due to COVID-19, including but not limited to food, housing, health care, child care?
  • If yes, please give a brief explanation of your unexpected expense(s) related to the disruption of classes.
  • Will you have technology-related expenses, including but not limited to having to buy a computer or laptop and/or printer in order to fully participate in on-line classes?
  • If yes, briefly state what you will need in order to fully participate in on-line classes conducted during the COVID-19 disruption.

All active students, and students who were expected to return from a leave of absence during the school’s closure, were sent the survey link via email through the school’s data base, Campus VUE.  Prior to sending out the link, student emails were verified by the Career and Student Services Department in preparation for online instruction. The students who replied with a need related to the disruption of classes were prioritized, regardless of their financial aid package.  Title IV eligibility was verified through a report in Campus VUE which provides each student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).  The EFC is derived from the information provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  A student with a missing EFC means they did not complete a FAFSA, thus requiring the school to verify Title IV eligibility.

Subsequent to the survey, the next group of students who received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant are those students who are Pell eligible (an EFC range of 0-5575) and did not already receive an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.

The amount each student received was $2,500 via check. This amount was determined by anticipating that each Title IV student will have a need for an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.  Along with the check, the envelope contained the system requirements for the online instruction platform, MindTap, and an explanation of the purpose of the check as follows:

“The enclosed check is an emergency grant provided by the Department of Education.  The purpose of these funds is to help you purchase technology needed to participate in online instruction that will begin on Monday, May 4th, and/or to assist with other expenses you reported you may have incurred as a result of the disruption of classes due to COVID-19. 

Please refer to the attached “MindTap System Requirements” before you purchase your technology for online classes to ensure your purchase meets the requirements needed to participate in online instruction.”