The College of New Jersey

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CARES Act FAQs

Dear Students:

As of 1 p.m. this afternoon, 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.

Over the last month, the college has made more than 1,800 awards totaling $2,514,066. 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

Reporting Dashboard

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: An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned the certification and agreement form and that the institution has used or intends to use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

The College of New Jersey has signed and returned the certification and agreement to participate in the CARES Act. The College will use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

Requirement: The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received under the HEERF student portion.
The total funding provided to The College of New Jersey for CARES Act emergency grants: $2,514,066.

Requirement: Of those funds, the total amount that has been distributed to students as of the date of reporting.
See Reporting Dashboard at the top of this page.

Requirement: 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 therefore eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant.
Estimated number of students eligible to participate: 5,356

Requirement: The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant.
See Reporting Dashboard at the top of this page.

Requirement: How the institution determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.

Grant amounts range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $2,500. The severity of the familial circumstances reported on the application, along with point values assigned to each circumstance, determined the amount of the Grant awarded.

Requirement: Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

The College of New Jersey has communicated to students, parents, and student’s guardians through multiple emails the purpose, availability and process for applying for CARES Act emergency funding. Access to the application as well as information detailing the process and answers to frequently asked question is located on the College’s homepage tcnj.edu.

Requirement: Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act Sections 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion.

TCNJ HEERF Institutional Funds Final Report

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