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Cares Grant frequently asked questions

If I am awarded a Cares Grant do I need to accept it?

No. Students may choose not to accept the CARES Grant funding. If they do not accept it, the money will be made available to other needy students who meet the eligibility criteria. Students who do wish to receive the money do not have to accept the CARES Grant via their Self-Service Financial Aid portal.  They will be provided with a link to the Attestation Form via CougarMail that attests they were affected by the location closures –NOT COVID-19 overall.

I am an online student – will I be eligible for a CARES Grant?

No.  Students were required to be enrolled in an in-seat course and have a non-online program location on March 13, 2020.  These requirements were set by the Department of Education.

What if my student is deceased – are they still eligible?

Though Columbia College is tremendously sorry for the loss our student and member of the CC Family, they would not be eligible.

What is the Attestation Form?

The Attestation Form is the student’s confirmation that they were negatively impacted by the closure of their location where they were enrolled in in-seat courses – not COVID-19 overall.  Completion of this form is required in order to receive the grant.

How long do I have to submit my Attestation Form?

Students will have until June 30, 2020 to submit their form.  If a student submits their Attestation Form after that date eligibility will be depend on fund availability.

When will I get my Cares Grant refund?

Funds will be available on Thursdays. To have funds available: students must submit their attestation form by noon C.S.T on Mondays to be reviewed for a refund of their CARES Grant that week.  Students are responsible for ensuring that their mailing address and/or direct deposit information is updated.  Per current CC policy, students must update this information by 11:59 P.M. C.S.T. on the Sunday prior to refunds.

I owe a balance. Will my Cares Grant be held to pay the balance?

No. CARES Grant funds will be refunded in full to the student and will not be held to cover any current or prior balances.

What other eligibility requirements are there?

Currently, students must be eligible for Pell Grant or other Title IV aids to be reviewed for CARES Grant funds.  If you have not submitted a FAFSA, we encourage you to do so for 2020-2021.

I received my Cares Grant but I need additional help. Are there more funds available?

If you need additional financial assistance, please complete the CARES Grant Request Form. Your request will be reviewed within three weeks.

I didn't receive a Cares Grant but I was impacted by the campus closure. Is there anything I can do?

If you have not submitted a FAFSA, you may submit for 2020-2021 to potentially be eligible.

I didn't submit my FAFSA for 2019-2020. Is it too late?

The deadline for the 2019-2020 FAFSA is June 30, 2020. You can earn eligibility with the 2020-2021 FAFSA. You do not need to demonstrate general financial need to be eligible for the CARES Grant, completion of the FAFSA just establishes Title IV eligibility.

I have reached the lifetime limits for Federal Title IV aid. Do I still need to submit my 2019-2020 FAFSA to receive a CARES Grant?

Yes.  Students don’t have to have received Title IV aid but must be eligible for it to be reviewed for a CARES Grant award.

I submitted my FAFSA but I was not eligible for Pell Grant. However, my situation has changed – is there anything I can do?

Students can submit a Special Consideration request to have Pell Grant eligibility reviewed.  If a student becomes eligible for Pell Grant as a result of this process, they may also be reviewed for CARES Grant eligibility. Eligibility will be depend on fund availability.

I am on Financial Aid Suspension. Am I eligible?

Currently, no.  Students must be Title IV eligible which requires a student make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Students can submit a Financial Aid Appeal and, if approved and meeting other eligibility criteria, may be reviewed for a CARES Grant.

I withdrew/dropped from my in-seat class(es) prior to March 13 because my class was moving to a virtual format. Am I eligible for a CARES Grant?

No.  Students were required to be enrolled in an in-seat course and have a non-DE program location on March 13, 2020.

Does this grant need to be repaid?

No, this is a grant funded by the federal government and does not need to be repaid.

Is the grant money taxable?

The grant is not includible in your gross income. We encourage you to speak with your tax advisor about your specific situation.


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