5/5/20 | CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
The CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund was created to provide relief to students experiencing recent financial hardship related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. The federal Department of Education has established criteria for the types of expenses that qualify for these funds. The grants are emergency funds for expenses that students enrolled for the spring semester on campus at MMA incurred which are directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. These expenses must occur on or after March 5th, 2020.
MMA will prioritize application from Pell Grant recipients first and then other students with need who have been impacted financially by COVID-19 in the above-mentioned categories. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee an award.
The maximum award cannot exceed $6,000; however, as we hope to award as many qualified requests as possible, it is likely that most need-based grants will be less than $1,500.
Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. As we do not have a way to assess need without the FAFSA, applicants will be encouraged to file a FAFSA to be considered. Remember to apply for financial aid for 2020-2021 by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov.
After need-based grants have been disbursed, the Academy will disburse the remaining funds among all students who are eligible to receive a grant and who have not already received a need-based grant. Please note: The Department of Education has advised us that these emergency grants will likely be considered taxable income.
Students wishing to apply for this grant should complete the online application.
If a student does not have internet access to complete an application online, they should contact Kathy Heath, Director of Financial Aid, at 207-326-2339 to request that a paper copy of the application be mailed to them. The Emergency Relief Fund Committee, chaired by the Director of Financial Aid, will determine the allocation of grants based on the total amount of funds requested as well as the circumstances of each student. Applications may be received through September 1, 2020; however, priority will be given to requests submitted by May 20, 2020, and as funds are limited, funds may not be available to later applicants.
In addition to eligibility, priority for student emergency funds should be based on:
- The urgency of the situation
- The student’s overall financial picture and level of hardship
Complete the application and submit online. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and applicants will be notified of decision via MMA student email. Final award amounts will be based on need and available funding.
To meet CARES Act requirements, colleges must report how grants were distributed, how award amounts were calculated and any instruction/directions given to students.
Please contact the Director of Financial Aid, Kathy Heath, at Kathy.Heath@mma.edu with any questions regarding this federal grant program or your application.
Director of Financial Aid