In late-March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was then signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020. As part of the CARES Act, there was funding designated as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This funding is earmarked for institutions to provide assistance for those affected by the disruption to campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecticut College was awarded $1,202,711 as a part of the CARES ACT. At least 50 percent of these funds must be distributed as emergency financial aid to students who have had their semester disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining funds can be used to offset the College’s loss of revenue and increased expenses as a result of the global health crisis.

In a letter to college and university presidents on April 9, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos indicated that each institution “may develop its own system and process for determining how to allocate these funds, which may include distributing the funds to all students or only to students who demonstrate significant need.” 

In an effort to distribute grants as widely as possible for maximum impact, Connecticut College has opted to distribute 75 percent of its total allocation directly to students, exceeding the required 50 percent. The College will distribute awards to all Title IV eligible students and will employ a tiered approach, allocating funds based on level of need. CARES Act HEERF grants to students range from $350 up to $1,000, awarded based on the level of institutional financial aid students have received (applications are not required).  

Connecticut College estimates that 1,609 students are eligible for CARES Act funds. These students meet the requirement for the CARES Act regulations issued by the Department of Education on April 21, 2020. 

Students enrolled in  Student Choice Refunds will receive direct deposits to their bank accounts. Others will receive paper checks in the mail to their home address.

On May 7, 2020, the IRS determined that the grants are NOT considered taxable income. Read more here. Grants will not be applied to or used to offset any charge, debt, tuition, fees, or other balance in a student account, nor will they be encumbered in any manner by the College.

Although not all students qualify for the CARES Act HEERF grants, Connecticut College remains committed to assisting students with financial hardships and those experiencing difficult individual circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemicIf you have concerns about your financial status with the College, contact the Office of  Financial Aid. If you have more immediate concerns with regard to emergency expenses affecting your well-being or your studies, please contact Marina Melendez, Associate Dean of the College, Dean for Junior, Seniors and Transfers and Posse Coordinator, at mmelende@conncoll.edu.

Connecticut College CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid to Students Report