AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
CARES ACT HIGHER EDUCATION EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS REPORT #2 -- MSI Report
While the U.S. Department of Education (ED) develops a process for institutions to directly provide the required reporting data, it has in the meantime called for institutions to make easily accessible to the public — via the institution's website — the following items:
Austin Community College has received $928,569 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s signed and submitted Certification and Agreement for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund- Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). Recipient may use this award to defray expenses incurred by Recipient, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll (“Recipient’s Expenses”). Recipients also may use this award for grants to students for any component of the student’s cost of attendance, as defined under Section 472 of the HEA, including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care (“Student Grants” or “Student Grant”). ACC has decided to make 100% of these funds available to students.
ACC has received $928,569 to be used for MSI CARES Act Student Aid.
(b) The total amount distributed between July 1 and September 30, the second
272 students total have received an emergency financial aid grant from the MSI CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Fund.
Austin Community College convened a committee with membership from the Chancellor’s cabinet, the Business Office, the Financial Aid Office, the ACC Foundation, Student Affairs Communication, ACC Marketing, Student Support Advocates, and Enrollment Management. The following brief was developed:
Overview: On September 25, 2020, ACC received $928,569 from the Department of Education as part of the MSI CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. ACC will distribute these emergency funds to students who have experienced or are faced with disruptions of education due to COVID-19. The coronavirus has negatively impacted the health and wellness of ACC students and their families, as well as the regional economy. ACC is keenly aware that the COVID-19 impact has exacerbated pre-existing systemic inequalities and has affected Central Texas’s marginalized communities more deeply than others. A working group formed to distribute these emergency funds. The working group decided to use HEERF (a)(2) funds in the form of scholarships as disclosed in the October 20, 2020 HEERF FAQ’s. The scholarship office was recruited to create a scholarship application that was sent to ACC Career Scholar students who were enrolled in the Fall 2020 Semester. The scholarship will cover tuition and fees not to exceed $5,000 a year. An application has been sent to Career Scholar students every semester thereafter. Students who receive (HEERF/MSI) Section 18004(a)(2) are also encouraged to apply for standard HEERF funding.
Student Eligibility (updated 12/27/20):
● Must have FAFSA on file to determine citizenship status
● Must be actively enrolled in ACC courses
● Excludes dual credit, international, continuing education, adult education, international students, DACA students, and undocumented students
● You must indicate on the MSI application that you have been financially impacted in some way by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
● Your related expenses must have occurred on or after December 27, 2020.
On May 11, 2021, ED issued the following updated guidance regarding student eligibility for any remaining HEERF MSI funds:
Processing and Distribution of Emergency Funds:
7) Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students: