CARES Act Student Payment Information

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released guidance related to the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) funding to higher education institutions to assist students with unmet expenses as a result of COVID-19. Funds must be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as:

  • course materials
  • technology
  • food
  • housing
  • health care
  • childcare
  • or other cost of attendance related items

Furthermore, ED guidelines require emergency grants only be distributed to students who are eligible to participate in federal Title IV programs.  (Students paid between May 21, 2020 and June 17, 2020 were not required to be Title IV eligible due to ED not enforcing the portion of its guidance that states students must be, or could be, Title IV eligible in order to receive HEERF student emergency grant funds.) Students exclusively enrolled in online courses prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible. In accordance with the HEERF Certification and Agreement signed and returned to the ED, the institution will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Our institution determined funds would be allocated to the largest number of students possible due to impacts of COVID-19 related events. Following Secretary of Education DeVos’s guidance, Pell eligible students received priority funding. However, based on our institution’s determined criteria, certain non-Pell eligible students were also considered eligible for the initial disbursement. Criteria for eligibility included:

  • An individual must have been a student as of March 13, 2020
  • Eligible students could not have been enrolled solely in an online format as of March 13, 2020

Any disbursed emergency grant funds will be released to students by either refund check or direct deposit, depending on the method the student has set up with the College. A payment is not necessarily a reflection of a student’s current student account balance, as these funds are disbursed directly to a student no matter if a current balance is owed to the institution.

The institution began making HEERF payments to eligible students on June 4, 2020.

Students determined eligible for HEERF payments will receive a confirmation email from the institution. A copy of the email template may be reviewed here. Please direct all questions to CARES@southwest.tn.edu.

HEERF Payment Allocation Information

Total Students Potentially Eligible: 5,633
Total Money Available: $3,649,219
Total Amount Paid: $3,257,547.20
Total Number of Students Paid: 5,633

The table below is initially published no later than 30 days after the institution received HEERF funds and is updated every 45 days thereafter.

Date Institution Submitted HEERF Certification and Agreement to USDOE: 4/17/20
Date Information Originally Published Online: 5/22/20
Website Updated (1st 45-day requirement):   7/6/20
Website Updated (2nd 45-day requirement):   8/20/20
Website Updated (3rd 45-day requirement):    
Website Updated (4th 45-day requirement):    
Website Updated (5th 45-day requirement):    
Website Updated (6th 45-day requirement):    
Website Updated (7th 45-day requirement):