MCC Begins Distribution of CARES Act Funds to Students

On May 15, Muskegon Community College distributed nearly $640,200 in federal emergency grants to 1,386 eligible winter semester students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

In all, MCC received $1,123,675 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. The HEERF funds are being distributed at MCC through two different processes: (1) a direct emergency grant distribution to eligible Winter 2020 Semester students, and (2) a Student Emergency Grant application.

The college used FAFSA information to determine those winter semester students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Grants, which were staggered based on half-time and full-time enrollment status, were then automatically awarded to students who met Title IV eligibility and the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in at least three (3) credit hours on March 13, 2020.
  • Be enrolled in at least one (1) face-to-face course on March 13, 2020.
  • Must not have been enrolled in high school on March 13, 2020.

MCC earmarked the remaining $483,475 in HEERF funds for Student Emergency Grants to be awarded to students self-identifying as having need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Title IV eligible students, who were enrolled during the Winter 2020 semester or are now enrolled in the Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 semesters, must complete and submit a simple application form that will be reviewed by an MCC committee. If accepted, a student may be eligible to receive an award up to $1,000 per semester.

The HEERF funds directly awarded to students as emergency grants for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. These expenses include such items as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare expenses. The emergency grants cannot be applied toward outstanding balances or used for tuition. Funds are distributed directly to students via check, their designated bank account, or to their MyMCCOne Card.

“It is undeniable that COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives and is well documented,” said Dr. John Selmon, the MCC Provost/Executive Vice President. “We are extremely pleased to be able to help provide some relief. Muskegon Community College has identified the eligible students and is complying with the CARES Act eligibility requirements without creating significant hurdles for our students. Eligible students can expect to receive checks in the mail any day now.”

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