COVID-19 and CARES Act Information

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund

Tennessee Tech University, in accordance to the United States Department of Education, will be awarding $4.35 million to Tennessee Tech students impacted by COVID-19.

Much of this funding will be automatically disbursed to eligible students, though some students may have to submit a FAFSA to receive funds.

  • Those deemed eligible and who have a valid FAFSA on file at Tennessee Tech will receive funds in early May.
  • Those who meet all CARES Act eligibility requirements except for the valid FAFSA on file will have through the end of June to submit their 2019-2020 FAFSA to Tennessee Tech.

» Information on completing the FAFSA

Remaining funds will be distributed to eligible students through an application process. The application will be available starting on July 1, 2020, on this webpage.

Tennessee Tech is committed to best serving our students. Golden Eagles have proven to be bold, fearless, confident and kind throughout this unprecedented time. Keep your Wings Up!

Additional detail on the CARES Act are provided below.

Please direct all questions to Cares-Act@tntech.edu.

 

  • Eligibility Requirements for CARES Act

    • Enrolled student at Tennessee Tech as of March 13, 2020
    • Student is United States citizen 
    • Student is degree-seeking
    • Student has valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file at Tech
    • Student is verified Title IV eligible
    • Student not enrolled in a program offered 100% online
    • Student not enrolled in all online courses

  • Purpose of CARES Act Funds

    • The U.S. Department of Education requires funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The guidelines state eligible expenses are those under the student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. CARES Act funds distributed to you must be used for these qualifying expenses.
    • Loss of employment is not considered an education disruption.
    • These funds will not offset any current balance on a student account.
    • CARES Act funds are a grant from the Federal Government. Click Here to visit the U.S. Department of Education CARES Act webpage.

  • Details on CARES Act Funds to Tech Students

    Once a student was determined eligible, the type of student (undergraduate/graduate) and Federal Pell Grant eligibility was used to determine distribution amounts.

    Eligible students will be emailed (student account will be used) notifying them that funds will post to their account. This email was sent on May 5, 2020.

    Direct deposit will be used for students who are set up to allow Tennessee Tech to pay in that manner. If direct deposit is not set up, students will receive a check by mail.  

    The range of funds distributed to 6,496 eligible full-time undergraduate and graduate students is $434 to $744.

    The range of funds distributed to 491 eligible part-time undergraduate and graduate students is $217 to $434.

    CARES Act funds are not considered Federal financial aid (Title IV and HEA) and will not impact federal, state and institutional aid. This means that any CARES Act funds received will not affect your current financial aid eligibility in any way.

  • Application for Additional CARES Act funds

    • Application opens July 1, 2020.
    • Student submits the CARES Act online application with supporting documentation.
    • Application must prove education disruption expenses in excess of any prior CARES Act funds received.
    • Complete applications will be reviewed each Friday until funds are depleted.

  • Title IV Federal Eligibility Requirements per U.S. Department of Education

    • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in degree or certificate program
    • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school
    • For currently enrolled students, be making satisfactory academic progress
    • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans
    • Not be in default on a Title IV loan
    • File “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes:

    • A statement of education purpose
    • Student’s Social Security Number

    • Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen
    • Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest charges
    • Not have fraudulently obtained Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits
    • Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently
    • Have Selective Service registration verified
    • Have Social Security Number verified
    • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain limitations.

  • Examples that deem a student ineligible for CARES Act

    • Student does not have a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA on file
    • Student is not Title IV eligible
    • High school student
    • Student is not United States citizen 
    • Student is non-degree seeking
    • Student withdrew prior to March 13, 2020
    • Student enrolled in a program offered 100% online
    • Student enrolled only in online courses
    • Student is recorded at Tech as a Transient student type

  • Students with no verified FAFSA on file at Tech

    • Student should confirm eligibility for both CARES Act and Title IV
    • If student believes they are eligible, submit 2019-2020 FAFSA and it be verified by Tennessee Tech’s Office of Financial Aid by end of June 2020
    • Information on completing the FAFSA
    • Tennessee Tech is not able to confirm eligibility until the 2019-2020 FAFSA is submitted and verified

  • Department of Education Reporting Information for the Student Portion of the CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund

    Below are the U.S. Department of Education’s interim reporting guidelines for institutions that have received the student portion of their Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) allocation. Tennessee Tech’s responses to these guidelines are noted below each bullet point.

    » An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned the certification and agreement form and that the institution has used, or intends to use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

    Click here to view the signed Tennessee Tech Certification and Agreement form filed with the U.S. Department of Education on April 14, 2020.

    » The total amount of funds that the institution will receive, or has received under the HEERF student portion.

    On April 24, 2020, Tennessee Tech received all of the designated funding under the HEERF student portion totaling $4,356,732.

    » Of those funds, the total amount that has been distributed to students as of the date of reporting (i.e. the first 30-day deadline, and then every 45 days thereafter).

    As of May 24, 2020, Tennessee Tech has distributed a total of $3,730,664 to eligible students.

    » The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and therefore eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant.

    As of May 24, 2020, 6,991 Tennessee Tech students were eligible to receive emergency relief funds.

    » The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant.

    As of May 24, 2020, 6,991 Tennessee Tech students received emergency relief funds.

    » How the institution determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.

    Tennessee Tech followed the Title IV Federal Eligibility requirements per the U.S. Department of Education to determine student eligibility for emergency relief funds.  A list of these eligibility requirements is listed on the Tennessee Tech Cares Act Information website under the subsection labeled “Title IV Federal Eligibility Requirements per U.S. Department of Education”.

    Once a student was determined eligible, the type of student (undergraduate/graduate) and Federal Pell Grant eligibility was used to determine distribution amounts.

    The range of funds distributed to 6,499 eligible full-time undergraduate and graduate students is $434 to $744.  The range of funds distributed to 491 eligible part-time undergraduate and graduate students is $217 to $434.

    » Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

    All Tennessee Tech students receiving emergency relief funds are emailed the following information:

    Golden Eagle:

    In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). As part of this Act, funds were delegated to Tennessee Tech University to distribute to Tech students whose lives have been disrupted by COVID-19.

    You are receiving this message because, based on the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education, you have been deemed eligible to receive CARES Act funds. Your distribution is being processed now and you should receive the funds by May 15, 2020. These funds will be applied to your student account and will be paid to you by either direct deposit or check. If you do not receive funds by May 15th, email cares-act@tntech.edu.

    CARES Act funds are not considered Federal financial aid (Title IV and HEA) and will not impact federal, state and institutional aid.

    The U.S. Department of Education requires funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The guidelines state eligible expenses are those under the student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. CARES Act funds distributed to you must be used for these qualifying expenses. Your acceptance of the funding is considered confirmation that you have qualifying expenses.

    For additional information on the CARES Act funds, visit www.tntech.edu/cares

    Stay well. Keep your wings up!

    According to the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines, Tennessee Tech will ensure the responses and data noted above are updated as of May 24, 2020 and every 45 days thereafter.