Q: What is the status of the federal CARES Act funding that Florida Tech has received to support students?
A: Florida Tech is receiving approximately $3.6 million of funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with up to $1.8 million mandated for use as student emergency financial aid grants.
Those grants are being disbursed starting May 20 to eligible on-ground students who were determined to be adversely affected by the shutdown of campus operations.
Q: How many students are eligible to receive the grants?
A: Under federal guidelines, 2,499 Florida Tech students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 have been deemed eligible for the emergency grants at this time. They will begin to receive their disbursements this week. There are an additional 1,280 students whose eligibility will be determined by the end of June.
Q: How much money will each student receive?
A: Of the currently eligible students, 1,799 will receive an initial disbursement of $450. The remaining 700 will receive $600 because they are Pell Grant eligible and thus represent a higher degree of unmet financial need. Any newly eligible students will receive either $450 or $600.
Q: How are students getting the money?
A: The university’s disbursing agent, ECSI, will oversee direct deposits into students’ bank accounts or mail checks to students at the home address Florida Tech has on file if direct deposit is not an option.
Q: How will I know my deposit or check is this disbursement?
A: When a student receives a payment via direct deposit in their bank account, the description will say, “ECSI As Agent of Refund.” Checks will be mailed in a plain envelope with an ECSI return address. The check inside the envelope is branded with Florida Tech.
Q: Are there restrictions on how students may use their disbursements?
A: Student recipients are allowed to use the funding within the framework of their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus – on areas such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses. Florida Tech is not asking recipients to use this funding in any particular way.
Q: Where can I find additional information the disbursement?
A: Florida Tech’s Financial Aid Office may be contacted for questions related to the emergency financial aid grants. The office can be reached at email@example.com or 321-674-8070.
Q: What if I want more information on the CARES Act?
A: The best sources for information on CARES Act as it pertains to education are the U.S. Department of Education and two industry groups, NAFSAA (the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) and NAICU (the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities). You can find the DoE site here, the NASFAA site here, and the NAICU site here.
Q: What about the housing credits we are expecting from Florida Tech?
Housing credit is not related to the CARES Act funding. Families who met the requirements for housing credits will see them on your July 1, 2020, student invoice, with the code “COVID-19” so that it is trackable. Funds will be returned thereafter.