CARES Fund Distribution to Eligible Students

Published Friday, May 8, 2020 at 11:02am

Dear Colleagues,

With all the challenges our students have faced this semester, it is with great joy that I share that we are providing them with financial assistance through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Mesa Community College is receiving $3,676,051 for immediate distribution to eligible students.

We are notifying only the students that our records indicate meet the requirement to receive CARES funding, per the Department of Education guidelines. And, we have decided that the most equitable way to distribute the fund is to divide the money by assessing the need and the credit hours taken among those qualified. Individual funding amounts will be based on identified needs through a certification form each student completes and the number of credit hours the student is taking. The maximum amounts students may receive are:

  • Enrolled in 12+ credit hours - $550
  • Enrolled in 7 - 11 credit hours - $440
  • Enrolled in 3 - 6 credit hours - $275

These funds are only available to students who were enrolled in on-campus or hybrid classes in the spring semester. Students will decide where the money is most needed in their lives. Any funds that are not distributed through this initial process will be added to HSI CARES Funding to be evenly divided among students who check the box for having extenuating circumstances in a second distribution. When our students fill out the form to request funds, there will be an opportunity to explain why they might need additional financial assistance.

Students must self-certify that they meet all eligibility requirements by completing a required dynamic form. Here are some of the requirements that accompany this federal funding:

  • Students must be enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester as of March 13, 2020. These funds are available to students who have had to withdraw, as long as they were enrolled as of March 13, 2020.
  • Students need to have enrolled in face-to-face programs at the beginning of the semester.
  • Students must be enrolled in more than three credit hours.
  • Students must be in a program that is eligible for Financial Aid, which means that the program must be more than 16 hours.
  • In the case of male students, they must be registered with Selective Service.
  • Students must have met Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.
  • Arizona law requires that students who are seeking state or federal aid provide verification of lawful presence.

We are working to process these requests as quickly as possible, with the goal to begin distributions the week of May 11.

Additional details can be found on the CARES FAQs section on the MCC Coronavirus website

It is important for you to know that our sister colleges are dispersing funds in a variety of manners. Some have sent a notice to all eligible students. Some are offering funds on a first-come basis. Others are requiring a reporting of how the students will spend their funds. We chose a process that would assist as many eligible students as possible. Additionally, MCCCD tuition waiver students are not eligible for CARES Funds.

I cannot thank you enough or too often for the innovation and extraordinary dedication of MCC faculty and staff in shepherding our students through dramatic upheavals in their academic and personal lives. They succeed because you care.

Stay Thunderbird strong!

Lori M. Berquam
Interim President
Mesa Community College