COVID-19 and Financial Aid

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Applications have now opened for the $500 Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grant from the CARES Act for emergency financial assistance if you experienced COVID-19 related expenses. This is a grant that does not need to be repaid and will not affect your future financial aid eligibility. This grant is currently available only for Spring 2020 students, funds are limited and awarded on first-come, first-serve basis.

For the HEERF (CARES Act) grant, students must:

  • Have successfully completed the 2019-20 FAFSA (US Citizens and Eligible Non-citizens).
  • Have a complete 2019-20 financial aid file with no outstanding financial aid requirements.
  • Be a Cypress College student: Spring 2020 home campus according to Admissions & Records must be Cypress College.
  • Be in Good / Warning / or Probation standing for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Spring 2020.
  • Be currently enrolled in Spring 2020 courses (or already successfully completed a Spring 2020 course).
    • If you dropped ALL of your Spring courses, you are not eligible.

Please make sure to complete any outstanding 2019-20 financial requirements as soon as possible, as your HEERF application cannot be processed until you do so.

Deadline to apply for Spring 2020: we have extended the deadline to July 31, 2020 at 5pm (or until the funding runs out, whichever comes first).

Please note: if you have already applied and received an award for Spring 2020, please do not apply again. At this time, students cannot receive multiple awards.

We will update this section as soon as we have information regarding the possibility of awarding for Fall 2020.

COVID-19 Financial Aid FAQ

What happens if I drop ONE of my classes?

Students that drop any course prior to the Freeze Date (for Summer, 6/9/20), will need to repay any Pell grant funds that were paid to them for that course. Students that drop a course (earning a W grade or get an Incomplete) will not owe back their Financial Aid (the aid is based off Frozen Units on 6/9/20) as long as they do not drop ALL of their courses. However, it may impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress in future semesters.

What happens if I drop ALL of my classes?

Students that drop all of their courses before the Freeze Date (for Summer, 6/9/20) will have to repay the Pell grant funds that were awarded to them. Students that drop all of their courses after the Freeze Date will have their eligibility calculated based on the percentage attended/earned and any unearned amount will have to be repaid by the student. This is called a Return to Title IV calculation, in which you will be notified the amount you owe within two weeks of completely withdrawing. Complete withdrawals may also impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress in future semesters.

Is there any other aid I can get on top what I’ve already received for Spring 2020?

If you have received all eligible grants and you need additional financial assistance, you may apply for a Federal Student Loan. (Loans are not available for the Summer session).

For more information, please visit our Loan section: cypresscollege.edu/financial-aid/federal-aid-programs/.

If you would like to pursue obtaining a student loan, please reach out to Nishad Marathe (Loan Coordinator) at nmarathe@cypresscollege.edu.

How do I apply for aid?

Complete either the FAFSA (fafsa.gov) or CADAA (dream.csac.ca.gov). The 2019-20 year applies for the current school year (through summer 2020) and the 2020-21 year begins fall 2020.

Once you submit and we receive your application, you may need to complete additional required documentation through our online software at cypresscollege.verifymyfafsa.com. (You’ll receive an email with instructions once we receive your application).

HIGHER EDUCATION EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND (HEERF) REPORT FOR STUDENT PORTION OF CARES ACT FUNDS

SUMMARY

Cypress College has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and 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.

Cypress College has received $2,233,500

Cypress College has awarded $1,891,075 in funds to 3,783 students as of July 2, 2020.

The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is about 50% of our Total Student Population.

The methodology used for student selection was structured using eligibility determined by the Department of Education. This used student data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as enrollment data to determine student eligibility for the first round of awards. Eligible students must be enrolled for spring, enrolled in an on-campus program, and eligible for the FAFSA, completing all eligibility requirements (U.S. citizens, HS graduates or GED, males registered with Selective Service, meeting SAP or in Probation status, and completing verification requirements.). These student populations are sent an electronic link to an Emergency Grant request form to be completed and submitted for evaluation and awarding. Instructions and guidance are provided on the form.

Weekly rounds of awarding were processed since the funding was made available, through the end of the spring semester. HEERF information for subsequent terms is forthcoming.

POLICY FOR DETERMINING WHICH STUDENTS DID, OR WILL RECEIVE EMERGENCY FINANCIAL AID GRANT AND HOW MUCH FUNDING THEY DID OR WILL RECEIVE

  1. Student submits a “HEERF Request Form” during the application period, which began on May 5, 2020 and closes Friday, July 30, 2020.
    • The financial aid office staff reviews all requests on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  2. Review includes checking to see if the student:
    • has completed a 2019-20 FAFSA application and qualifies for federal Title IV aid,
    • has a complete 2019-20 Financial Aid file (not outstanding requirements),
    • was enrolled or completed at least 1 Spring 2020 course,
    • has Cypress College as their home campus for Spring 2020
    • is Good, Warning, or Pro1 for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  3. Students who meet all Title IV eligible requirements and who apply, and were enrolled in at least .5 units at the time of request (or if applied after end of Spring 2020, successfully completed at least one course), are awarded $500. Students who are awarded, receive notification via email “Financial Aid Offer”, and is also made viewable in the myGateway student portal. Disbursements are made, and funds are sent to Bank Mobile via our normal financial aid refund process within 10-14 days. Any student not eligible for Bank Mobile account was sent a paper check.
  4. Students who are not eligible are sent an email requesting they follow up with our office. Students who later completed their financial aid requirements were considered for awards, until the end of the semester, and if eligible at that point, awarded as in number 2 above. During the subsequent weekly rounds, the Financial Aid Office also considered later applicants who had not applied by the date of the first round.

SCHOOL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Cypress College has signed and returned the certification and agreement form, and intends to use the funds to provide at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

FUNDS AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS

The total amount of HEERF funds remaining available to students = $342,425

FUNDS DISBURSED/APPROVED TO STUDENTS

Amount distributed to students as of date of report, 7-2-2020 = $1,891,075

Estimated Number of Students Eligible for Title IV Federal Aid, and Therefore Eligible for HEERF Emergency Funds: 9,151

Total students disbursed funds: 3,783

Amount of Grant: Eligible students are awarded $500 in emergency aid.

INSTRUCTIONS/ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR STUDENTS

The college first announced the aid to students in an email with a link to an application. The college also posted several general announcements to all students informing them of the funds being available and how to apply for the funds. The information was shared broadly on the college’s COVID-19 website, the college weekly newsletter, as well as the Financial Aid Office website, the Financial Aid Office Facebook page and the college’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. These are communications the college used to reach students:

Generic Email Letter to students (PDF)
Financial Aid website

IRS INSTRUCTIONS FOR CARES ACT FUNDS FOR TAX PURPOSES

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-higher-education-emergency-relief-fund-and-emergency-financial-aid-grants-under-the-cares-act