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CARES Act

IRSC CARES Act Funding Information

With the passage of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Indian River State College (IRSC) has qualified for funding to assist students impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. These funds are currently designated for students that attended IRSC in the spring 2020 semester. The funding is limited and will be disbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Click here for HEERF reporting.

October 27, 2020 Update

Date Total Number of Students Awarded Total CARES Act Funds Awarded
June 1, 2020 3,414 $1,730,250
July 7, 2020 (end of round 1) 5,457 $2,730,150
August 17, 2020 (end of round 2) 5,635 $4,336,050
October 16, 2020 6,103 $4,776,547

Eligibility & Process to Apply

Indian River State College (IRSC) is pleased to announce that it has completed distribution of $4,776,547.00 in CARES Act grant monies to 6,102 eligible students impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. The dissemination of funds, made possible through the passage of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was one of several initiatives that IRSC has implemented to ease financial hardship, encourage uninterrupted educational attainment, and promote physical and mental well-being for members of its campus communities during COVID-19.

Disbursements of CARES Act grant monies began in May and concluded this month. The College followed the strict guidance of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in its interpretation of the CARES Act funding, particularly with respect to eligibility of the awards. Award amounts were determined in alignment with student anticipated need, per Expected Family Contribution, and based upon both the total number of eligible students and total amount of funding made available to IRSC.

July 15, 2020 Update:

IRSC is pleased to announce plans to begin its next round of awarding CARES Act dollars to students. With our remaining award from the Department of Education, we will extend CARES Act funding to students attending courses in the Summer (to include Summer A, B, and / or full summer terms).

Eligibility requirements and award amounts are unchanged, and are outlined below.

Students will receive information via email notifying them of their eligibility and next steps. Any students who believe they may be eligible but have yet to complete a FAFSA should do so as soon as possible. As a reminder, money will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. This round of funding will end on August 6 or whenever all funds are disbursed.

June 18, 2020 Update:

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education published an interim federal rule (IFR) rescinding CARES Act funding eligibility for students in non-Title IV eligible programs and/or not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Indian River State College is disappointed with the timing of the IFR as it conflicts with our recently approved expansion of CARES Act emergency grants to these students from the Spring 2020 semester. A few states have already challenged the IFR in court, however, it is unclear if the status will be challenged in the State of Florida.

At this time, IRSC will honor the awards for students enrolled in non-Title IV programs or students not meeting SAP requirements during Spring 2020 who have completed their application and are awaiting disbursement. The College must pause its fulfillment of any CARES Act awards to this group of students moving forward.

June 11, 2020 Update:
With updated guidance from the U. S. Department of Education IRSC has removed the requirement that students be enrolled in a Title IV program (one that qualifies for financial aid funding). All students who attended IRSC during the spring 2020 semester may now apply for CARES Act funds provided they meet all other eligibility requirements. Eligibility criteria may now be demonstrated and verified by submission of either the 2019–2020 or 2020–2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

June 3, 2020 Update:
With updated guidance from the U. S. Department of Education, IRSC has adjusted its process and will now permit students to apply for CARES Act funds regardless of SAP status, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements.

Eligible Students

According to guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (updated per the June 17, 2020, interim federal rule) students must meet the following criteria to qualify for the funds:

  1. Students must have attended IRSC during the spring 2020 semester;
  2. Students must be pursuing an IRSC college degree or certificate program (one that is eligible for financial aid funding): and
  3. Students must meet the following criteria, which needs to be demonstrated and verified by submission of the 2019–2020 or the 2020–2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
    • Valid social security number;
    • Be a U.S. citizen or have other qualifying citizenship;
    • Earned high school diploma or GED; and
    • Registered for selective service (before the age of 26; for male students)

NOTE: If you have yet to do so, you can access and complete the FAFSA here. Students who complete a FAFSA may be eligible for stimulus dollars even if they do not meet income requirements for Pell funding.

Non-Eligible Students

The CARES Act excludes some students from eligibility (updated per the June 17, 2020 interim federal rule). Per the U.S. Dept. of Education, the following students may not receive CARES Act funding:

  • Dual Enrollment students
  • Adult Education Program students
  • Non-Citizen students
  • Students not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards at the start of the spring 2020 term
  • Students who withdrew from the spring 2020 term prior to March 27, 2020, the date the CARES Act was enacted
  • Students who were enrolled in a fully online program prior to March 13, 2020, the date the President declared a National Emergency as a result of COVID-19

Process to Apply for CARES Act Emergency Grants

Eligible Students

IRSC has taken steps to identify the student cohort (6,423 students initally, an additional 602 on June 3, and an additional 200 on June 11) eligible to apply for CARES Act funding based on the criteria listed above. These students will be sent a text if a cell phone number is on file, and/or emailed more information to their RiverMail address. Instructions on how to proceed with the application process will be included in the email.

Eligible Students with No FAFSA on File

The College has also identified an additional cohort of students (1,956 students initially, an additional 767 on June 3, and  2,203 more on June 11) that can qualify for CARES Act funding should they complete a FAFSA and have it on file with the College. These students will be sent a text if a cell phone number is on file, and/or emailed further instructions on how to complete the FAFSA promptly, and any additional steps they need to take at this time.

Potentially Eligible—Meet Criteria, No Email from IRSC

Students who attended IRSC in the spring 2020 semester and feel certain that they meet the listed criteria for CARES Act funding eligibility, but did not receive an email, are encouraged to contact IRSC beginning May 19. Reach out to CARESact@irsc.edu with your name, student ID number, and best phone number to contact you.

The College will review each request for CARES Act eligibility, and notify students of their statuses.

Not Eligible, Needs Assistance

IRSC understands the CARES Act grants won’t cover every student that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted. Students that are in need of emergency or immediate assistance in order to maintain their academic progress may qualify for other funding opportunities, including federal financial aid and/or limited scholarships available through the IRSC Foundation.

If you are in need, reach out to the College by contacting the IRSC Information Call Center by phone at 772-462-4772 or 1-866-792-4772 (toll-free), or by email at: info@irsc.edu.

Award Amounts & Disbursement

Indian River State College is making the CARES Act funding available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The one-time awards are grants and do not have to be paid back by the student.

Award amounts vary. Maximum awards are $600 per student; minimum awards are $300 per student.

Distribution of awards is based on a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated in the FAFSA on file. This means that if a student is eligible for a lot of federal financial aid, they are likely to receive more CARES Act funding; likewise, if a student isn’t eligible for federal financial aid, they may only receive the minimum CARES Act award.

EFC on FAFSA IRSC CARES Act Award
0 $600
1–5,576 $450
5,577–Max $300

Questions & Answers

CARES Act funding comes with significant criteria for eligibility, as detailed above. However, IRSC students impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 will typically qualify IF they: 1.) were enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester; 2.) have a FAFSA on file with the College; and 3.) do not meet one of the limited exceptions, such as being a Dual Enrollment student. Any questions about CARES Act eligibility can be emailed to info@irsc.edu

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education published an interim federal rule (IFR) rescinding CARES Act funding eligibility for students in non-Title IV eligible programs and/or not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Indian River State College is disappointed with the timing of the IFR as it conflicts with our recently approved expansion of CARES Act emergency grants to these students from the Spring 2020 semester. A few states have already challenged the IFR in court, however, it is unclear if the status will be challenged in the State of Florida.

At this time, IRSC will honor the awards for students enrolled in non-Title IV programs or students not meeting SAP requirements during Spring 2020 who have completed their application and are awaiting disbursement. The College must pause its fulfillment of any CARES Act awards to this group of students moving forward.

There is no minimum amount of credits required as part of eligibility for CARES Act funding grants from IRSC. Full- and part-time students are all being reviewed and emailed if determined eligible

CARES Act funds are to assist students impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, and all awards are independent of whether or not a student receives financial aid or scholarships.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education published an interim federal rule (IFR) rescinding CARES Act funding eligibility for students in non-Title IV eligible programs and/or not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Indian River State College is disappointed with the timing of the IFR as it conflicts with our recently approved expansion of CARES Act emergency grants to these students from the Spring 2020 semester. A few states have already challenged the IFR in court, however, it is unclear if the status will be challenged in the State of Florida.

At this time, IRSC will honor the awards for students enrolled in non-Title IV programs or students not meeting SAP requirements during Spring 2020 who have completed their application and are awaiting disbursement. The College must pause its fulfillment of any CARES Act awards to this group of students moving forward.

Accepting a CARES Act emergency grant will not have any impact on your financial aid eligibility in the 2020–2021 academic year. CARES Act information will be included on your 1098T (from the College), which is used to file your taxes.

Students eligible for Emergency CARES Act grants through IRSC will be notified through their RiverMail email address, and directions to apply for funds will be included in that communication.

If you do not receive an email regarding CARES Act funding from IRSC, but believe that you are eligible based on the requirements listed on this website, beginning May 19, you may contact the College at info@irsc.edu with your name, student ID number, and the best phone number to reach you. IRSC will review your status for the CARES Act and if you are eligible, provide more information on how to receive funding.

You still have time to complete the FAFSA, however, completion of the Workday Action Item that is triggered by a completed FAFSA is required by June 30, 2020, and funds are disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis pending fund availability.

Grant amounts vary by students and are based on each student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) factor documented on their FAFSA on file. The maximum award is $600 per student, and the minimum is $300 per student. These grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, and they are one-time awards, meaning you may only apply once.

Students determined to be eligible for CARES Act grants will be notified via RiverMail of their eligibility and the funding amount they can receive. These students will then be required to fill out a brief application certifying that expenses were incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. After that step is completed, funds should be approved and released to the student.

After a student has been notified of their eligibility via RiverMail, and has completed an application certifying that expenses were incurred as a result the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, awarding of CARES Act grant funding will be processed immediately. If a student has signed up for direct deposit, funds will be deposited into the account on file. If a student has not elected for direct deposit, they will receive a check by mail. Make sure the address on file is correct. Students should receive their CARES Act grant within one week of having funds disbursed to their account.

Students who meet all of the qualifications for a CARES Act grant and graduated following the spring 2020 semester are still eligible for funding. These students should check their RiverMail email account.

Students eligible for CARES Act grants who do not have a direct deposit account on file with IRSC may receive a check by mail. We encourage all students to make sure their addresses are up to date.

Students may also set up a direct deposit account at any time. To do so, students need to:

  1. Log into their Workday account via MyPioneerPortal;
  2. Go to the Finances Application;
  3. Click on 'Set Up Payment Elections' under My Account;
  4. Choose 'Edit' in the Accounts Section;
  5. Fill out their Banking Information; and
  6. Click ‘OK’

Students with direct deposit accounts should verify their bank information is still correct.

Students are encouraged to verify their accounts now. CARES Act grants to eligible students will be processed quickly after completing a brief application certifying that expenses were incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, and either a direct deposit or check will be selected based on what the student has on their account.

The Emergency CARES Act grants are being provided to students as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Per CARES Act instruction, these funds are to assist with “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare).”

No, your grant will be distributed directly to you; however, you will maintain a balance with Indian River State College. Students are permitted to cover account balances at IRSC with CARES grant funding.

We understand students have significant needs during this time. The CARES Act grant is meant to supplement other funding sources. If you are having financial difficulties, please reach out to a financial aid advisor to discuss other available options.

The U.S. Department of Education has established a number of guidelines that we must follow to determine eligibility for a CARES Act grant. Some of the main reasons a student may not be eligible for an award include not having attended IRSC in Spring 2020 or a number of other factors.

Any student that feels certain they are eligible based on the criteria listed on this website can seek a review of eligibility, beginning May 19, by emailing their name, student ID number, and a good phone number to be reached to info@irsc.edu. IRSC will review for CARES eligibility and respond. If eligible, the student will receive information on how to proceed with the CARES Act application process.

International students are not eligible at this time. International students typically cannot qualify to receive Title IV aid, and this eligibility is closely tied to eligibility for Emergency CARES Act grants. If any of our International Students are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of IRSC’s operational transition due to COVID-19, we encourage them to reach out to info@irsc.edu or call 1-772-462-4772 to discuss other available options.

Please reach out to info@irsc.edu or call 1-772-462-4772.

The College followed the strict guidance of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in their interpretation of the CARES Act funding, particularly with respect to eligibility of the awards. Award amounts were determined in alignment with student anticipated need, per Expected Family Contribution, and based upon both the total number of eligible students and total amount of funding made available to IRSC. The USDOE continues to revise guidelines for how funds can be distributed and used, so students are encouraged to continue checking this website in the event that a broader group of students becomes eligible.

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has determined that Indian River State College is eligible for $9,553,094 in CARES Act funding. IRSC has signed and returned a Certification and Agreement to the USDOE that at least 50 percent of the funds received ($4,776,547) will be provided to students in the form of Emergency CARES Act grants.

As of May 27, 2020 (30 days after institutional receipt of allocation), Indian River State College has awarded $1,505,000 to 2,960 students. More than 9,300 students have been contacted and informed of eligibility.

On September 21, 2020, Indian River State College completed distribution of $4,776,547.00 in CARES Act grant monies to 6,102 eligible students impacted by the by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

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