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CARES FAQs

What is CARES?

CARES is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a more than $2 trillion economic relief package. It was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 27 of this year.

How much of this is going to higher education?

The CARES Act provides almost $14 billion to institutes of higher education across the country.

How much is South Mountain Community College receiving?

SMCC will receive almost $2.1 million, of which half of it must go directly to support students whose lives have been disrupted by Covid-19.

What are the eligibility requirements to receive funding?

CARES applies to students who 

  • Were enrolled in credit courses as of March 13, 2020
  • Are US Citizens or permanent residents, refugees, or Visa types of U or T (victim of crime)
  • Possess a valid social security number (meaning, must be eligible to file a FAFSA)
  • Have a HS completion (diploma), GED recipient, or homeschool certification
  • Were enrolled in non-online classes 
  • If male and over the age of 18, have registered for Selective Service (SSS.gov)
  • Are in an eligible degree or certificate program 
  • Are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Are not in federal loan default or grant overpayment
  • Are enrolled at least 3 credit hours.

I’m an eligible student. How much money will I receive?

For those students who will receive CARES funds, the amount was calculated based on two factors: 

  1. The number of credits a student was enrolled in as of March 13, 2020
  2. If the student was a federal Pell Grant recipient during the Spring 2020 term

The final potential range for students, after calculating these needs, is an amount ranging from $86.73 to $1205.06.

How will I receive the money?

If we have your bank account on file, the money will be deposited into that account. If not, a physical check will be mailed to the address we have on file as your home address. Please ensure that your personal information is current in your MCCCD Student Center.

When would I receive the money?

Our efforts are to have initial distributions coming to students on or about May 21, 2020. 

Is there anything I need to do to receive the funds?

If you filed a FAFSA, please verify that the current information in your Student Center is correct.

If you are eligible and did not file a FAFSA, we need you to fill out a very quick and easy self-certification form before funds can be distributed.

I have a debt that I owe the college – is the money coming to me or being applied to that?

Money will be provided directly to students, and will not be used towards any outstanding debt.

Are there any restrictions on how I can use the money?

CARES is intended to be used for expenses related to the disruption due to coronavirus, and can be used for expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care and transportation.

I was enrolled in only online classes prior to March 13. Am I eligible for funds?

No, students who were enrolled exclusively in online classes prior to March 13 are not eligible.

I was taking classes at SMCC and another Maricopa college. Will I get money from both colleges?

No, you would receive money from only one college.
 

CARES Funding details from the US Department of Education