July 16, 2020
Michigan Technological University acknowledges that the Certification and Agreement for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds were signed and submitted to the Department of Education on April 24, 2020. Michigan Tech will ensure that at least 50% of the provided funds ($2,302,889.50) will be made available as emergency financial aid grants directly to students.
Total Amount of Funds Received
The total amount of funds received by Michigan Technological University for emergency financial aid grants to students is $4,605,779.
Total Amount of HEERF Finding Distributed to Students
Total Amount of emergency financial aid grants distributed to students as of the date of this report is $1,511,919.25.
Estimated Total Number of Students Eligible to Receive HEERF Funding
The estimated number of Michigan Technological University students eligible to receive HEERF funding is 5,834. (This is the estimated number of MTU students that are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.)
Total Number of Students Who Have Received Grants
As of this report date, the number of students who have received these grants is 4,156. Michigan Tech continues to carefully balance the guidance and eligibility requirements from the Department of Education with the urgent needs of students. The process (described below) for distributing funds was released during the week of May 25, 2020, and was shared with eligible students via Michigan Tech email.
Determination of Eligible Students and Amount of Award
After careful consideration and review of federal guidance and the challenges that Michigan Tech students have faced as a result of the disruption of campus operations, eligible students will receive a one-time emergency grant of $350. This grant is meant to recognize and provide relief for the unexpected disruptions our students are experiencing as well as the technology needs and expenses many have incurred with the shift to remote learning. In addition to federal guidance that emphasizes these grants be allocated only to students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, each college/university was tasked with creating their own eligibility requirements. For the $350 emergency grant described above, to be eligible, a Michigan Tech student must:
- Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
- Have been an active, enrolled student for the spring 2020 and/or summer 2020 semester(s). Incoming first-year students who are beginning their enrollment in the summer semester of 2020 are not eligible at this time.
- Be registered for courses for the fall 2020 semester.
Per federal requirements, international students and those identifying as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) are not eligible to be considered for this emergency funding.
The grant described above, which utilizes most of Michigan Tech's HEERF student grant allocation, allows the majority of continuing Michigan Tech students to receive financial support. In addition, a limited amount of funding from the HEERF allocation will be utilized to support the existing emergency funding processes through Michigan Tech as well as the special circumstances review committee through the Financial Aid Office. While the HEERF funding directed to these channels is limited, any grants made to students under these programs will require the same eligibility requirements to be met as described above. These programs are intended to address exceptional student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations caused by COVID-19.
Instructions and Guidance to Students
During the week of May 25, notice was shared with eligible students via email regarding the process for the distribution of the HEERF grants. Eligible students are asked to set up and utilize direct deposit to allow the payment to be sent to them quickly and securely. Where direct deposit is not possible, checks will be issued to students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the amount set at $350?
In addition to abiding by all federal requirements for this grant money, each college/university was tasked by the Department of Education with setting their own procedure and eligibility requirements. Some schools have awarded various amounts of CARES grant funding based on FAFSA results, and some have also required students to submit an application. While there is no perfect approach, Michigan Tech recognizes that all of our students have likely incurred additional expenses as a result of campus disruptions and the shift to online/remote learning. To expedite this process and reduce any additional burden, Michigan Tech opted to issue a block grant of $350 to all eligible students. Students experiencing financial hardship and extenuating circumstances should contact Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and concerns.
Michigan Tech will spend approximately $1.7 million on these $350 block grants, approximately 75 percent of the funds from our CARES grant allocation that were intended for emergency student grants. The remaining $600,000 is available immediately through the existing Husky Emergency Assistance Fund and current and future financial aid special circumstances submissions. Students will still need to meet all eligibility requirements to receive any allocations of this funding through these processes.
When will eligible students receive the $350 emergency grant?
Michigan Tech is working quickly to make sure all eligible students receive their grants in early July. To ensure the fastest delivery of your funds, we encourage you to make sure your non-payroll direct deposit allocation is set up in Banweb. You can do this by going to Banweb, clicking on “Pay Bill/Confirm Enrollment,” and then selecting “Non-Payroll Direct Deposit Destination.
Why is Michigan Tech sharing this information now when some other schools did earlier?
Michigan Tech wanted to make sure we had all guidance from the Department of Education confirmed before making a decision that would impact the majority of our students. It's important to note that as the University worked to establish procedure and eligibility requirements, the Department of Education continued to change, and in some cases reverse, guidance they had previously issued. As recently as May 21, the Department of Education issued clarifying information that actually allowed Michigan Tech to broaden our population that could be eligible for these emergency grants.
I have not enrolled for the fall 2020 semester yet due to financial concerns, but I was a student in the spring. Can I still get this funding?
Michigan Tech will gladly review your records to see if you qualify. Students in this situation should contact Joe Cooper, director of financial aid, at email@example.com. Please make sure you register for your fall courses before we review your records. In these situations, while you may not get the $350 from the CARES Act grant program, we will work to add a $350 grant to your financial aid account, which will be applied to any fall tuition charges you have.
Why can't international students or undocumented students receive this funding?
The Department of Education requires that students be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 in order to receive these funds. International students, undocumented students, and others who may not be eligible are encouraged to review additional financial resources if they are experiencing a financial emergency.
I think there's been a mistake. I reviewed the eligibility requirements and I think I should qualify.
I graduated this spring, or I graduate this summer. I'm not enrolled for fall. Why am I not eligible for this $350 emergency grant?
Michigan Tech recognizes your concerns, and while the funding from the CARES Act is a significant number, the University had to make difficult decisions for how to distribute these funds. Ultimately, we had to balance expectations from the Department of Education while also identifying students with the greatest need. While there is no perfect formula, Michigan Tech realizes that students who have not yet graduated will likely need this support to offset future educational expenses, including those related to the disruption of campus operations.
For students who graduated in May, we understand that you also faced unexpected expenses, and that's why we quickly shared financial resources for our existing students during the spring semester. Existing emergency funds, including the Betty Chavis Fund, the International Student Emergency Fund, the Graduate School Emergency Loan Program, and the newly created Husky Emergency Assistance Fund, have been heavily utilized since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We're pleased that so many students, including those who graduated in May, could access and receive financial support through these resources before the federal CARES Act funding was available.
For students who are set to graduate in August and will not be enrolled in the fall, although you may not qualify for this $350 in CARES Act funding, please know you have additional financial resources available. The committee will be glad to review your requests if you're experiencing a financial emergency related to COVID-19.
Why aren't incoming first-year students eligible for this funding?
Michigan Tech recognizes that many of our incoming students for the fall 2020 semester are also experiencing financial challenges related to COVID-19. The Department of Education requires that these funds be used as emergency grants to students as a result of expenses incurred due to the disruption of campus operations. Because of this, we're unable to consider incoming first-years for this funding, as they aren't technically students until they begin their courses. Incoming students who have had significant changes to their family's financial situations should contact Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a special circumstances review—you may qualify for an adjustment to your expected family contribution, and possibly need-based aid. In addition, once enrolled in courses, first-year students will be able to apply for emergency funding resources.