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Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) – 2021

Required Reporting

March 3, 2021

Dear Students:

This message serves as an update to the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, (CRRSAA – 2021), which was passed on December 27, 2020. This law is an extension of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that passed March 2020.

During the Spring 2020 semester, TCNJ received CARES Act funds to support students during the COVID pandemic. Unlike other colleges and universities who chose to award only part of their CARES Act funds during the Spring 2020 semester and reserved some of those funds for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, TCNJ made a decision to award all CARES Act funds during the Spring 2020 semester. The College made over 1,800 awards to students totaling $2,514,066 and all funds have been spent.  

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, (CRRSAA – 2021), which was passed on December 27, 2020, allocated a new round of funds to TCNJ. This new round of funds has stricter eligibility criteria than the original CARES Act funds from last Spring. 

“Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants.”

Although we understand that many families are experiencing financial challenges due to the pandemic, the College must adhere to the new guidance provided by the US Department of Education in determining eligibility for these funds. Therefore, in order to comply with this new stricter eligibility criterion, only students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant or an NJ State Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) qualify for the new round of funds.

Students who are not eligible for a Pell Grant or a TAG award may visit our Special Circumstances page to see if they qualify for a reevaluation of their financial aid awards. https://financialaid.tcnj.edu/useful-links/sources-of-financial-aid/special-circumstances/

We anticipate that awards for those students who are eligible will begin to be processed on or around April 1, 2021. More information will be provided as the date nears.

Sincerely,

Wil Casaine

Executive Director of Financial Aid

CARES Act – Spring 2020

Dear Students:

TCNJ has fully expended the $2.5 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief funding it received through the federal CARES Act. For this reason, the college is no longer accepting applications for support.

The College made more than 1,800 awards totaling $2,514,066 in 2020. This money was expressly intended to help students who are experiencing a variety of financial hardships related to the pandemic.

Thanks to all who participated in this process.

To those who received awards, we hope it helps you in these very challenging times.

Sincerely,

Wil Casaine, Executive Director of Financial Aid

FAQs

What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the federal government?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available and how do I apply?

TCNJ has received its Higher Education Emergency Relief funding, which it is making available to students on an expedited basis. Please fill out an application to begin the review process. Recipients will be notified of their status via their TCNJ email account.

Am I eligible for CARES Act funds?

Degree-seeking students enrolled in spring 2020 are eligible to apply for CARES Act funds. Funding is limited to students who have and been impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways: student and/or spouse loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss), parental loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss), or other unexpected circumstances. Students enrolled in fully online graduate programs, international, and undocumented students are not eligible.

What are some examples of circumstances that may make you eligible to receive a Higher Education Emergency Relief grant from TCNJ?

  • You are no longer working on campus due to the campus closing.
  • You or your immediate family’s financial circumstances have worsened due to a job loss, decrease in hours worked, or reduction in pay.
  • In order to participate in TCNJ’s online instruction you had to acquire new technology or services.
  • You incurred unanticipated travel expenses due to the school’s on-campus closing.
  • Since returning home, in order to keep your job your commute has incurred a burdensome increase.

Can I make changes to the application form after it has been submitted?

Unfortunately, no. Once an application is submitted it becomes final and will be processed accordingly.

What login credentials do I need to access the application form?

The application is only available to users with an @tcnj.edu email domain. Students can access the application form with their TCNJ login and password.

I am an international student and not a citizen of the United States. Am I eligible for a CARES Act grant?

Unfortunately, no. In accordance with the terms of the CARES Act, because you are not able to apply for federal Title IV financial aid, you are not eligible.

Are DACA students eligible to receive a CARES Act grant?

No. Because you are not able to apply for federal Title IV financial aid, you are not eligible.

When can students apply for CARES Act funds?

Eligible students may apply online beginning April 30 through June 30, 2020, or until all funds are exhausted.

What are the types of expenses are covered by CARES Act funding?

Eligible expenses for CARES Act funding include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical, food, housing, utilities, technology expenses, relocation costs to return home, unexpected childcare, course materials, and other unanticipated expenses included in the student’s cost of attendance.

How much funding will I get?

Award amounts vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances. The College is committed to distributing the CARES Act funds it has received to as many eligible students in need as quickly as possible until those funds are exhausted.

How long before I know if I am awarded?

We anticipate a large volume of applications and will work to process submissions as quickly as possible. Our goal is to provide funding decisions as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days depending upon the sufficiency of your application and required documentation.

What documentation am I required to submit for the CARES Act application?

Only the completed application is required. The college reserves the right to request supporting documentation to substantiate statements made in the application.

How will I find out if I have been awarded funding?

Emails will be sent from PAWS to each student when funds are issued.

How will I receive the funding if my request is approved?

Checks/direct deposits will be processed within 5-10 days after each applicant eligibility has been verified by the office of financial aid.

Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your funding. Designate your bank account in PAWS by following the instructions below:

  1. Visit the TCNJ Today homepage
  2. Click on PAWS
  3. In Self Service, click on Student Center
  4. Click on Refund Direct Deposit link located in the Finances section and follow the instructions

If you are awarded funds, it will take approximately 24-48 business hours from your notification date for the funds to be deposited into your bank account. Some banks make take longer to process payments.

If you are not able to set up a direct deposit account, you be mailed a paper check to the local mailing address on record with the college. Be advised that this method can take between 1-2 weeks.

I graduate this semester. Can I receive a grant?

If you graduate in Spring 2020, you have until June 30, 2020 to submit an application to be considered for funding.

United States Department of Education: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Required Disclosure and Reporting

Requirement: Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for the Institutional Portions

TCNJ CARES Act HEERF I Institutional Funds Report as of September 30, 2020 (Final Report)

TCNJ CRRSAA HEERF II Institutional Funds Report as of March 31, 2021 (Interim Report)

Requirement: Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for the Student Portions

TCNJ CARES Act HEERF I Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Report as of September 30, 2020 (Final Report)

TCNJ CARES Act HEERF I Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Report as of May 28, 2020 (Interim Report)

TCNJ CRRSAA HEERF II Student Grants initial report as of March 31, 2021

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