On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into the law. Section 18004 (a) (1) of the Act included the establishment of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for students enrolled in higher education institutions. The HEERF was designed for students who experienced disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act specified that these funds were to be used only for students who were enrolled in at least one on-campus course and were classified as “eligible” to participate in the federal loan program under Section 484 Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
PTS applied for HEERF funding by signing the Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education agreeing to release these funds to students directly. The Seminary received a total of $7,218 to be awarded to our students who met the eligibility requirements. The institution reviewed all PTS students determining which students were enrolled with at least one on-campus course during Spring Semester 2020 as of March 13, 2020 with Title IV eligibility. It was determined that there were 24 students who met the eligibility requirements.
All students who met the eligibility requirements were emailed the PTS HEERF Grant Application. Students were given over a week and a half to submit the application, with several reminder emails and texts to students who had not applied during this time period. Of the 24 eligible students, 12 students applied by submitting the application.
Awards were made based upon applications submitted. To qualify for the award, students had to indicate they incurred some expenses related to the disruption. Priority was given to the students who had indicated they incurred significant expenses over minor expenses. All students who submitted an application and noted they had some expenditures related to the disruption received funds from the allocated amount.
The students were categorized depending upon their need as indicated on the application. The funds were then evenly distributed to the students within each category with the students showing a greater need receiving more funds than the students who noted a lesser impact. The students were told these funds were to be used to help cover additional expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of May 27, 2020 all funds have been distributed to students.