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CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") provided a variety of funding opportunities to individuals, colleges and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), the CARES Act emergency funding provided to colleges, is designated for students experiencing financial hardships due to disruption of campus operations occurring from the coronavirus pandemic.

Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act requires institutions receiving funds under the Act to publish the following required information about its campus plan and appropriations.

  • RCC signed and returned to the Department of Education a CARES Act HEERF Certification and Agreement on April 11, 2020. The certification outlined that RCC intends to use no less than 50% of its HEERF funds to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. These funds will be awarded using the title We Care Funds.
  • The total amount of federal funding received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to be awarded under the We Care Fund campus plan is $1,813,316.
  • At the first 30-day reporting interval, or May 11, 2020, no We Care Funds have been distributed to students. RCC has submitted its We Care Fund campus plan, application and student communications to the State University of New York (SUNY) and is awaiting approval to announce the opening of applications to students.
  • The CARES Act restricts eligibility for We Care Fund awards to students who are deemed eligible for federal aid. RCC requires that students apply for the 2019/20 or 2020/21 FAFSA so that federal aid eligibility can be determined. RCC estimates that approximately 50%, or 2,506 matriculated students, are currently eligible to apply for the CARES Act funding offered through the We Care Fund.
  • RCC encourages all students who have not previously filed a FAFSA to immediately do so in order to be considered for We Care Funds.
  • As noted, RCC's We Care Fund proposed campus plan is pending approval with SUNY. Once approved, this website will have links to additional web pages and student communications.