As part of the CARES Act passed by lawmakers on March 27, 2020, institutions of higher education were allocated funds to be used to help offset the negative financial impacts of COVID-19. This allocation of federal money, referred to as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was established for use by the colleges and universities themselves as well as by their students in the form of grants.
On April 14, 2020, Northland Pioneer College signed a certification and agreement form consenting to follow the legal requirements outlined for the use of these grant funds. As stipulated by the CARES Act, the college used at least 50% of these funds or $321,569 as emergency financial aid grants to students. On April 24, 2020, we received notification of the availability of the CARES Act funds.
Lawmakers also passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) on December 27, 2020. This law allocated additional HEERF funding to colleges for emergency financial aid grants to students. NPC received an additional $321,569 specifically to support students.
Additionally, lawmakers passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11, 2021, which allocated an additional $1,703,655 to NPC to support students. Total funding given to NPC for the use of student emergency financial aid grants was $2,346,655. The following information explains how we have used the combined funds thus far.
As of September 30, 2021:
- Total amount of CARES Act Grants distributed to students = $1,047,785
- Total number of students that have received grant funds = 893
- Funds have been awarded to students during the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2020, and the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2021 semesters. During this time we estimate that 1,291 students were enrolled that could have qualified for these funds.
- Northland Pioneer College determined student eligibility according to guidance received by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Student eligibility criteria along with application submission instructions were initially sent out to students on April 24, 2020. In the Spring and Summer of 2021, NPC distributed $500 in CARES Act funds to all current Pell grant recipients. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the college administration has approved $500 for each enrolled FAFSA filer and an additional $200 for each Pell grant recipient as a way to prioritize those students with documented financial need. Students with greater financial need may apply for additional CARES Act funding by completing the application form at www.npc.edu/scholarships/cares-act-emergency-funds-grant.