Frequently Asked Questions
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal government relief package designed to provide economic assistance to individuals and organizations affected by COVID-19. Part of the CARES Act is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which provides financial support to colleges and universities, as well as directly to students.
How much money can I receive through a federal CARES Act emergency grant?
Based on Valencia College’s plan, which includes guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education to distribute CARES Act emergency funds, if you’re eligible and you apply, you may receive a one-time award of up to $750.
Am I eligible to receive a federal CARES Act emergency grant?
Based on the law and U.S. Department of Education guidelines, to be eligible for a CARES Act emergency grant, you must:
- Not have received a CARES Act emergency grant or VSF Grant in Round One
- Be enrolled at Valencia College in a degree or certificate program in Summer 2020,
or have been enrolled in a degree or certificate program in Spring 2020 (specifically
the applicant must be registered in at least one course in Summer 2020 and/or have
been registered in at least one course in Spring 2020)
- Have submitted a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or
have completed homeschooling
- Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Do not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants and not be in default on a Title
- Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen
- Not be in an exclusively online degree program (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
- If asked, submit a Statement of Educational Purpose
- Not have fraudulently received Title IV funds
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Registered with Selective Service (if male)
- Have not been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs
Valencia College is distributing CARES Act funding to our students in multiple rounds. The first round of funding took place in June 2020. The second round of funding will occur in July 2020. Stay tuned to your Atlas email for information about your eligibility.
What if I’m registered for summer courses that didn’t start on Monday, May 4, 2020?
If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you may qualify to receive financial support during the next round of funding. Please stay tuned to your Atlas email; if you become eligible to receive financial support, we will notify you through Atlas email.
To optimize your eligibility for a CARES Act emergency grant, we highly recommend you complete your 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible — if you haven’t done so already. To complete the FAFSA online, click here. Make sure you enter Valencia College’s School Code (006750) to ensure Valencia College will receive the results of your FAFSA.
How can I apply to receive CARES funds?
If you are eligible to apply, we will email you with instructions on how to apply. It’s important that you stay tuned to your Atlas email account for any updates about your eligibility.
I believe I’m qualified to receive a CARES Act emergency grant, but I did not receive an email. What should I do?
Please visit the virtual Answer Center for additional guidance.
Do I need to prove financial need to apply for these funds?
Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, these funds are intended to support students who have incurred expenses as a result of disruptions to campus operations due to the coronavirus. In the application, you will need to certify that you incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care or child care.
Please note: The CARES Act emergency grant application does not require information about your expected family contribution.
What kind of need makes me eligible to receive CARES Act funding?
In your application, you must certify that you incurred expenses due to interruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, including expenses incurred with respect to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and/or child care.
Do I need to repay the grant I receive?
No; you do not need to repay this grant.
Would this funding reduce my financial aid?
No; this is a one-time grant that will not affect your existing financial aid.
If I’m awarded a CARES Act emergency grant, how will I receive my grant money?
You will receive your grant money through Valencia College’s refund process, which is managed by BankMobile. To receive your refunds as quickly as possible, we highly encourage you to opt to receive electronic refunds from Valencia College, which includes grant money from the CARES Act. For information about how to opt in to receive electronic refunds, click here. If you do not opt in to receive electronic refunds, you will receive your grant money through a paper check mailed to your home address on file with Valencia College. Please note: receiving a paper check may cause significant delays.
Important note: CARES Act funding will not be applied to your Valencia College account. Even if you have outstanding tuition and fees, your funds will be deposited in your BankMobile or personal checking account, or you’ll be sent a check in the mail. If you wish to use these funds to pay your account balance with Valencia College, please do so through Atlas.
When will I receive my grant money?
We will begin processing your disbursement (distribution of funds) within 10 days of receiving your application.
If you opted to receive electronic refunds from Valencia College, your grant money will be deposited directly in your bank account (ACH) or BankMobile Vibe Checking Account. If you did not opt to receive Valencia College refunds electronically, you will be sent a check to the home address listed in your Atlas account.
Please note: After disbursement begins, it may take up to three days before you receive the funds in your account through electronic transfer, and it may take more than 21 days for you to receive a check by mail.
We highly encourage you to opt in to receiving your refund electronically. If you haven’t done this already, please click here for instructions.
What should I do if I have expenses related to the coronavirus but I am not eligible for CARES Act funds?
Currently enrolled, degree-seeking students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for CARES Act funding may be eligible for a grant through the Valencia Support Fund.* The Valencia Support Fund is made available through donor contributions and other college funds to help eligible students cover expenses related to food, housing, courses materials, technology, health care, tuition, fees or child care.
If you are eligible to receive financial assistance from the Valencia Support Fund, you will receive an Atlas email with information about how to apply. Please stay tuned to your Atlas email for more information.
Please note: because international students on F or J visas already received financial support for the summer term through an International Emergency Grant Fund, F and J visa international students are not eligible to apply for Valencia Support Funds.
*Click here to review eligibility requirements for CARES Act federal emergency grants. Please note: if you are eligible to file a FAFSA, you must do so. If you cannot file a FAFSA or can file a FAFSA but don’t meet other CARES Act federal emergency grant requirements, then you may qualify to receive financial assistance from the Valencia Support Fund.
Can I apply for CARES Act funding and the Valencia Support Fund?
No; you are eligible to receive funding from the CARES Act or the Valencia Support Fund. You are not eligible to receive financial support from both sources. We want to ensure that we can support as many students as possible.