CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (May 19, 2020. 11:55 p.m. CDT) - The Blinn College District is monitoring the evolving situation. For more information and the latest updates, please visit our Coronavirus Update Page: Coronavirus Update

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on our Coronavirus FAQs page: Coronavirus FAQs

CARES Act Emergency Funding

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides funding for the Blinn College District to distribute emergency grant funds to eligible students. Blinn signed the Certification and Agreement form and submitted it to the Department of Education in order to receive funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The Department of Education established the rules and regulations regarding who is eligible to receive CARES Act funds. Those eligibility requirements are discussed in further detail below. Due to the Department of Education rules, Blinn is requiring that all students complete and submit a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if one is not already on file as the first step in determining eligibility to receive CARES Act funds. In accordance with Department of Education rules, Blinn will use the information from the FAFSA to determine the eligibility status of students to receive CARES Act funds.

A total of $7,070,955 has been allocated and approved to be distributed to eligible students for Emergency Financial Aid grants, and an estimated 14,000 students enrolled in Spring 2020 could be eligible for CARES Act grant funds. As of May 28, 2020, Blinn has distributed $3,517,553 in CARES Act funds to 4,215 students.

Students who apply by the June 30, 2020, deadline are eligible to receive a maximum award of $1,000 in CARES Act grant funds as long as funds are available. To be eligible, students must complete and submit a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Eligible Expenses

Expenses may be considered for CARES Act emergency grant assistance if they were incurred in “direct relation to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.” These may include:

Technology Needed to Support Remote Learning (such as the purchase of a computer, webcam, or upgraded internet speed)

 

Food/Groceries

 

Rent and/or Utilities

 

Childcare Expenses

 

Course Materials

 

Transportation (such as flying home because classes were canceled)

 

Who Can Apply For CARES Act Funding?

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Grants under the CARES Act are based on eligible student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and funding is not tied to existing financial aid programs such as Pell Grants. All funds are distributed directly to students as quickly as possible.

To be considered for CARES Act aid, students must be enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester. Students who withdrew in the Spring 2020 semester or graduated in the Spring 2020 semester must be enrolled in a future term at Blinn College. Blinn must be the student’s home institution for financial aid purposes for Spring 2020. The deadline to complete the 2019-20 FAFSA is June 30, 2020. Students who have completed the FAFSA and are eligible to receive CARES Act funds will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office with application instructions.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible for CARES Act Emergency Aid, students must:

  • Complete and submit a 2019-2020 FAFSA by June 30, 2020, if one is not already on file
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e., eligible to receive federal Title IV aid).
  • Not have been enrolled exclusively in online programs for the Spring semester on or prior to March 12, 2020.
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on any federal grant.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be registered with Selective Service (if required).
  • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans).

How Will Blinn Award CARES Act Grants?

Round 1

Students who meet the eligibility requirements and whose Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA is equal or less than $5,500 automatically will be awarded $750 for the Spring 2020 semester. This disbursement will take place without any action required on the part of the eligible student.  Students will be emailed once the funds have disbursed to their account.

Round 2

Students who meet the eligibility requirements may apply for CARES Act emergency aid and will have the application posted as a requirement on their 2019-20 financial aid checklist. This application is open to students who already received $750 in CARES Act grant funds in the first round and to students who did not receive funding in Round 1. As a reminder, the maximum award of CARES Act aid is $1,000 per eligible student.

How to Apply

Students must have their 2019-2020 FAFSA sent to Blinn College and meet all eligibility criteria. Eligible students will be notified by the Financial Aid Office to complete an online application.  The application deadline is June 30, 2020. For more information, email finaid@blinn.edu or call 979-209-7230 or 979-830-4144.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I know if I received funds?

The Blinn College District will work diligently to award CARES Act grant funds as soon as possible after receipt of an eligible student’s application.

How will I be notified?

If selected to receive CARES Act grant funds, you will be notified via your Blinn College email account.

Can I choose how I get my grant funds?

Students who are awarded grants will have the funds processed based on their selection in myBLINN. Students who have chosen direct deposit will have the funds deposited in their bank account on file; this can be edited by selecting the Student Choice Refunds icon in myBLINN. Students who have not signed up for direct deposit will have a check mailed to their current address on file.

What if I owe Blinn for tuition and/or other fees?

Blinn cannot use any of the student aid funds awarded from the CARES Act toward outstanding balances. If awarded a grant, students will have the full amount disbursed directly to them.

Will a CARES Act emergency grant affect my financial aid in the future?

No. This grant will not be used in calculating your current or future financial aid awards.

How do I apply for CARES Act funds if I am a TEAM or RELLIS student?

TEAM Program students should apply for CARES Act funds through Texas A&M University. RELLIS Campus students should apply for CARES Act funds through their home institution for financial aid.