Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) Information

Columbia Gorge Community College Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) Information

Columbia Gorge Community College signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education on April 17, 2020 the Certification and Agreement to receive Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) grants to distribute to students who have incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations. The college received those funds on April 28, 2020, and as directed by Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act the Department, will distribute at least 50% of the funds directly to eligible students.

The college received $375,638 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, at least $187,819 of which has been or will be distributed directly to eligible students.

As of May 27, 2020, the college had distributed $39,525 in HEERF grants to eligible students.

As of July 8, 2020, the college had distributed $78,367 in HEERF grants to eligible students.

As of August 21, 2020, the college had distributed $86,666 in HEERF grants to eligible students.

A total of 398 students were initially eligible for Title IV aid under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and were therefore potentially eligible for HEERF grants.

As of May 27, 2020, the college had distributed HEERF grants to 147 students.

As of July 8, 2020, the college had distributed HEERF grants to 194 students.

As of August 21, 2020, the college had distributed HEERF grants to 206 students.

The college sent texts and emails to potentially eligible students, informing them of the availability of the grants and the process by which to apply for them. The college determined students’ eligibility for the grants using a web form on which students indicated the kind(s) of eligible expenses they incurred. Students chose one or more of three expense categories: utilities (such as increased water and/or electricity bills), goods (such as increased cleaning, cooking, an/or educational supplies), and Internet/Wifi (and/or other technological access costs). The college initially determined individual grant amounts based on average local prices for the indicated expenses for two months: $125 for utilities, $125 for goods, and $100 for Internet/Wifi.  Those amounts were later increased to $188, $187, and $150, respectively.

The college provided the following instructions, directions, and guidance to students regarding applying for the funds: 

The CARES Act created the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for schools to provide emergency grants to students. If you submitted a 2019-20 FAFSA and incurred expenses due to spending more time at home while taking your classes online, click [link] for information on how to request these funds.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Application

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. Students who meet the following criteria may apply for these funds:

  • submitted a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • attended CGCC during Spring term 2020
  • in good SAP standing at the start of Spring term 2020
  • incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19

Students who are ineligible for the HEERF funds should email financialaid@cgcc.edu to discuss their alternate options for financial assistance.

Eligible students may be awarded up to $350 in HEERF emergency grant funds. The CGCC Business Office will mail checks to addresses on file. These funds will be sent directly to eligible students; they will not be applied to any outstanding charges.

If a student believes that their eligible expenses exceed the amount they receive, the student may contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@cgcc.edu for information on how to submit a request for additional funding.