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Financial Aid

CEI CARES Act Implementation, FAQ and Reporting

The COVID-19 impact has been felt everywhere, to help mitigate the effect on your academic experience, the Department of Education has allocated funding to directly support you, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This funding has been distributed directly to institutions to support students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

College of Eastern Idaho is grateful to have the opportunity to deliver extra financial support to qualifying students during this difficult pandemic. Your health, safety, and success remain the focus at CEI. While we are anxious to return to normalcy, we will do so following guidance and recommendations from our public health officials and our state leaders.

Making sure our students with the greatest need receive assistance is a priority for CEI. Our goal is to provide access to funds that are intended to help you with expenses, including course materials, distance-based technology, food, housing, healthcare, and childcare.

How does the CARES Act affect me as a student?

  • CARES Act Funds will be provided to eligible students who have had unexpected costs or hardship due to the disruption of campus operations or the COVID-19 pandemic. Students receive the CARES Act Grant by meeting the criteria that have been established by the Department of Education and The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), under the CARES Act. The Cares Acts funds will be paid to eligible students until funds are exhausted.

Why did I get the CARES Act Grant Money?

  • The Department of Education has made CARES Act funds available to students who incurred expenses as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions to their campus operations. In our initial round of fund distributions, College of Eastern Idaho identified students that were eligible and affected by the COVID-19 related disruptions to normal campus operations.

I have additional emergency financial need, can I apply for additional funding?

  • Yes. CEI has reserved CARES funds for students with additional emergency financial need to apply for additional funding. Students must meet the eligibility criteria as listed below and be Title IV eligible. This funding is limited and will be based on the student requested need until funds are exhausted. Students can fill out the simple form Covid-19 Relief Funding Application.
  • Students may now receive funds for the Fall 2020 term, Summer 2020 term, and the Spring 2020 term (if they have not yet received the maximum CARES Grant award for the Spring term). Only students who attended the Spring 2020 term will be eligible for this funding.

I received the CARES Act Grant money as a refund. Does this mean my CEI account balance has been paid off?

  • No. Distribution of CARES Act Grant is made directly to students and not applied toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by the student. Receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to College of Eastern Idaho for any debts incurred during the Spring 2020 term, prior terms, or upcoming terms where funds are available. Please check your current account balance on Self-Service to determine what you may still owe.

What are the eligibility requirements to receive CARES Act funding?

Students must meet all of the following requirements in order to receive any CARES Act or Emergency or Relief funding:

  • Current degree-seeking at CEI for Spring 2020
  • Enrolled in six (6) or more credits for the Spring 2020 Term
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Noncitizen
  • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress or on Satisfactory Academic Warning for the Spring 2020
  • Be eligible to participate in the programs under Section 484 in Title IV of Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. (e.g., be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds such as the Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Federal Work-Study, etc. Have a completed FAFSA for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021).

You are not eligible to receive funds if you are one of the following:

  • Enrolled in an exclusively online program on or prior to March 13, 2020
  • Dual credit, international student, DACA student, and visitor student
  • Consortium agreement student where CEI is not the home school
  • Currently in default on a federal student loan
  • Non-degree seeking Spring 2020

Am I eligible to receive CARES Act funding if my Satisfactory Academic Progress is in an Unsatisfactory status?

  • No. The Department of Education has indicated that students with an Unsatisfactory SAP status are not eligible for CARES Act fund distributions.

Are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students eligible for CARES Act funds?

  • No. Guidance issued by the Department of Education indicates that students must be eligible to submit a FAFSA in order to qualify for the CARES Act funds. This limits eligibility to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Title IV eligible non-citizens.

I did not fill out a FAFSA, am I eligible for CARES Act funding?

  • Yes, you can still be eligible by completing the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 FAFSA, or by providing CEI with documentation to determine your Title IV eligibility as instructed below.

How do I demonstrate Title IV eligibility?

  • CEI encourages you to complete the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at Studentaid.gov
  • Use CEI school code 011133
  • Allow 5-7 business days for CEI to receive your completed FAFSA application
  • Check your CEI email regularly for updates
  • Complete the CEI form Determination of Title IV Eligibility

For more information on what you will need to fill out the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA, go to our CEI FAFSA information page.

***You are not required to use FAFSA funding (Student Loan, Pell Grant or Work-Study) in order to be CARES Grant eligible.

I did not fill out a FAFSA, is there an alternative method to determine Title IV eligibility for CARES Act or Emergency funding?

Students may provide the following documentation for evaluation of their Title IV eligibility:

  • U.S Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen
  • Valid Social Security Number
  • Registered for the Selective Service (males only)
    • To obtain documentation that you are registered with the Selective Service, go to the Selective Service website, find Verify Registration, and follow the directions. Submit the confirmation page to the Financial Aid Office.
  • High School Diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschooling setting
    *Please note, if CEI has your High School completion on file, no documentation is required.
  • Complete the CEI form Determination of Title IV Eligibility

How will I receive CARES Act funding?

CARES Act funds will be distributed to students through the mail for the safety of our students and staff. To ensure timely receipt of these funds, students should ensure their addresses are up to date.

To update your mailing address:

  • Log into Student Self-Service and click on User Option (person icon) located on the left, click on User Profile, click on Add New Address, and update.
    • Please be sure to update Street Address or PO BOX, City, State, and Zip.
    • It can take 24 hours to show the new address.
  • Or you can request an address change by providing your Name, Student ID, Street Address or PO BOX, City, State, Zip and send an email to:  admissions@cei.edu.

What can I use CARES Act funding for?

  • CARES Act funds may be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, distance-based technology, healthcare, and childcare).

Do I have to pay this money back?

  • No. Any CARES funds a student receives from the CARES Act will not need to be repaid.

Does this money count against my financial aid package?

  • No. Money from the CARES Act is not considered financial assistance under the federal statue, nor the Department of Education regulations. As such, these funds will not impact your eligibility for regular financial aid (e.g., grants, scholarships, loans, work-study).

Learn how CEI has implemented the distribution of CARES Act Funds for students in need. College of Eastern Idaho published CARES ACT Report detailing where CARES ACT funds are distributed.

College of Eastern Idaho, 208.524.3000, 1600 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, ID 83404

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