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CARES Act Student Emergency Funding

What is CARES Act Student Emergency Funding?

The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress has allocated to AACC $2,157,673 that can be used only for emergency student aid to assist eligible students who incurred “expenses related to the disruption of college operations due to coronavirus.” Additional information can be found at our Federal CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Funds page.

Who will receive funds?

The specific award criteria for eligible students can be found at our Federal CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Funds page.

When will funds be distributed?

The initial awards were mailed on May 21, 2020. Applications for appeal were processed until funds were exhausted on Nov. 16, 2020.

What if I did not incur expenses as a result of Covid-19?

Students who received the initial award on May 21, 2020, and did not incur expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus should not cash the check sent to them. Students who have not incurred such expenses should decline the award and contact financial aid at to advise them that the check will not be cashed and those funds are available to support eligible students in greater need.

Can a coronavirus-related reduction in household income be considered when developing my financial aid package for the 2020-21 school year?

Federal aid regulations allow the AACC financial aid office to make adjustments for certain financial situations that cannot be taken into account on the FAFSA. We consider each situation on a case-by-case basis, and the regulations limit which situations we consider and how adjustments are made. Common special circumstances include, but are not limited to, unemployment, decreased annual income, and divorce or separation. For Special Circumstances consideration contact the financial aid office at  

Can I request CARES Act funds for the fall 2020 term?

CARES Act funds were exhausted as of Nov. 16, 2020.

How long before I receive funds after I am awarded?

While we cannot give you a specific time frame on when you will receive your funds, awards will be processed weekly for all approved appeals after May 21, 2020.

How will I receive funds?

A check for the amount of the award(s) will be mailed directly to the student’s address of record.

Can I use this money to pay off my AACC balance?

Yes. AACC is not authorized to apply CARES Act funds toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. However, once the funds are received as a refund, students may choose to use the funds to pay off their outstanding account balance. 

Can AACC just apply the funds to my account balance with my approval or permission?

No. Federal regulations stipulate that all CARES Act funds must be disbursed directly to the student and may not be applied toward outstanding balances by AACC. To use these funds to pay off an outstanding balance with AACC, a student must make a payment to their account through their MyAACC account.

Are students enrolled in a certificate program eligible for CARES Act funds?

Yes, students enrolled in a qualified credit certificate program are eligible.

Will the CARES Act funds affect other aid that I have already received?

No, CARES Act funds will not reduce your financial aid package.

Can undocumented students and international students receive funds under the CARES Act?

No, international and undocumented students are not eligible for CARES Act funding.

Can a student who has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status receive funds under the CARES Act?

No, DACA students are not eligible for CARES Act funding.

Is money I receive from the CARES Act taxable?

AACC cannot provide specific tax advice. Contact your tax advisor. General information available on the IRS website states: “Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or child care, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.”

Is the Appeal for CARES Act Student Emergency Funding open?

No. The appeal is now closed.


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