CARES Act Student Aid

CARES Act Student Aid

Austin Community College is here to help you succeed. ACC received CARES Act funding to support eligible students financially impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These funds are a part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a new federal grant funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Federal funds are limited and not guaranteed. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. You may also access additional community resources, ACC scholarships and Financial Aid.

Eligibility & Requirements

ACC must adhere to federal guidelines set forth by the Department of Education (ED). Federal guidelines for ACC CARES Act Student Aid require that you must be eligible for Federal Financial Aid and meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in an approved degree or credential,
  • Not owe any financial aid or have defaulted on any financial aid loan, or not have been involved in any fraudulent receipt, distribution, or overpayment of financial aid funds,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen, and have a social security number,
  • Be registered for the selective service (if male),
  • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations,
  • Be in good Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standing.

You will not be eligible for ACC CARES Act Student Aid if:

  • You are co-enrolled in another college or university where you could also be receiving CARES Act funds.
  • If you are not eligible, or unsure if you meet eligibility requirements, ACC still encourages you to submit an application. There are additional resources we may be able to provide. Submitting the application authorizes ACC to research those opportunities on your behalf.

Steps to Apply

Federal funds are limited and not guaranteed. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. 

  1. Fill out an online application.
  2. Complete and submit a Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have already submitted a FAFSA for 2020-2021, step 2 is not required.
  3. You will be contacted by ACC via email. (Due to a high volume of applications, please allow for up to seven to ten business days.)

*For ACC CARES Act Student Aid, you do not need to submit documentation or verification to the Department of Education (ED) after completing your FAFSA. However, you will receive communication from the ED if documents are needed or if you are missing anything in your FAFSA application. Following instructions and completing these verification steps may also make you eligible for Financial Aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible?
    • Current and newly enrolled students who qualify for Federal Financial Aid and have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for ACC's CARES Act Student Aid.
  • How do I apply?
      1. Click the Apply Now button to fill out an online application.
      2. Fill out and submit a FAFSA. If you already have a FAFSA, step two is not required.
      3. You will be contacted by ACC. (Due to a high volume of applications, please allow for up to five business days.)
  • What if I don’t qualify for CARES Act Student Aid?
    • If you are not eligible, or unsure if you meet eligibility requirements, ACC still encourages you to submit an application. There are additional resources we may be able to provide. Submitting the application authorizes ACC to research those opportunities on your behalf.
  • Does this impact my financial aid?
    • No. Eligible students may receive both Financial Aid and CARES Act Student Aid.
  • Can I apply with ACC if I am co-enrolled with another college or university?
    • No. Federal guidelines specify that students are not eligible for CARES Act Student Aid at ACC if they are co-enrolled in another college or university where you could also receive CARES Act funds.
  • How do I receive the funds?
    • Once your application is approved, you will receive funds by electronic deposit or check. Be sure to set up your BankMobile preferences and make sure your mailing address is up to date.
  • When can I apply for CARES Act Student Aid?
    • Funds are available during the 2020 spring, summer, and fall semesters. Students who are currently enrolled in an approved degree or credential program are eligible to apply. Applications open at the start of each semester.

      • Do I have to repay emergency funding from the CARES Act?
        • You do not have to repay the amount awarded to you. The ACC CARES Act Student Aid is a grant to help you succeed academically during this unprecedented time.

          • Who is eligible to receive CARES assistance?
            • Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need can be considered for these funds. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will use Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data, along with your request form. To determine your eligibility and will allocate funds based on available funding. If you are eligible, file a FAFSA for 2019-20for Summer assistance and you 2020-2021 for Fall. 

              Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at ACC.

              Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs. If you are a student from one of these groups, there may be other types of emergency aid from ACC available. Please contact sef@austincc.edu for other assistance.

              • How many times can I apply?
                • Students may apply for funds every semester they are enrolled, until the ACC CARES Act Student Aid is depleted. If you need further assistance, please contact sef@austincc.edu

                  • What kinds of expenses are allowable?
                    • unds may be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, tuition, fees, or child care.

                      • What additional support is available?
                          • We understand you may still need financial support. Our community partners may be able to help. Check the Community Resources webpage for more information.