CARES Act Student FAQ
Q.How did Forsyth Tech decide the award amounts for CARES Act Grants?
The college is doing our best to meet the needs of all students and is trying to be fair and equitable in the distribution of CARES Act funds while also staying within federal guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education. Only student enrolled in at least one hybrid or face to face class at the time of disruption (March 13, 2020) are eligible to be considered for the funding.
The amount of the direct disbursement going to students in a CARES Act grant is based on a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for 2019-2020. A student’s EFC is determined by the FAFSA information provided at the time of completing the FAFSA and is affected by the number of credits he or she is enrolled in, income, assets, and the number of dependents. A student may be awarded more or less funding than another student.
You must have completed the FAFSA for 2019-2020 and meet all other federal eligibility requirements to receive a CARES Act funding. If you have needs in addition to the grant or you do not qualify for a CARES Act grant, please visit the FT Cares page for information regarding other assistance you might be eligible to receive.
Q.What do I have to do to receive a CARES Act Grant?
- Complete or have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible.
- Verify that your contact information and payment options are accurate with BankMobile. If you do not have a BankMobile account and need help creating one, contact BankMobile at 1.866.782.0821 or review the BankMobile Disbursements FAQs located at: https://www.forsythtech.edu/apply/financial-aid/bankmobile/
- The Financial Aid office will verify all information and send payments through BankMobile as quickly as possible. Please check you Forsyth Tech email for any additional updates.
Q. When will I get my CARES Act money?
If you qualify by meeting all federal guidelines for CARES Act grant funds, you will receive your CARES Act grant through BankMobile. Forsyth Tech is working diligently to disperse funds to all eligible students as soon as possible. Eligible students will receive notification through BankMobile when their grant is in their BankMobile account. If further information is required of the student before a disbursement can happen, you will be contacted via your Forsyth Tech email account regarding next steps. We anticipate the first direct disbursements will be sent by the end of May with further disbursements continuing through June. By federal law we must disperse all funds received within one year.
Q. What is BankMobile? How will I receive my CARES Act Grant if I do not have a BankMobile account?
Forsyth Tech uses BankMobile, an online banking product, to process financial aid refunds. You must have a BankMobile Account to receive a CARES Act Emergency Grant. If you do not have a BankMobile account and need help creating one, contact BankMobile at 1.866.782.0821 or review the BankMobile Disbursements FAQs.
Q. Are students required to submit an application for the funds?
Students who meet the federal criteria, have a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file, and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for Title IV (federal financial aid) eligibility DO NOT have to complete any additional paperwork to receive the CARES Act disbursement. There may be steps required by BankMobile to determine how you will receive the funds. However, if you have not completed a FAFSA, but meet all other criteria, you will be contacted to complete that process to determine final eligibility.
Q. Are students who graduated in Spring 2020 eligible to receive a CARES Act grant?
Any student enrolled in an eligible program on March 13, 2020, and is eligible for Title IV funding (federal financial aid), is eligible to receive CARES Act grant funds. Therefore, a student who has recently graduated and meets these requirements, is eligible to receive a CARES Act grant.
Q.The Education Department has said that to receive a grant a student must meet the definition of “eligible student” under Title IV. Does the student also have to be enrolled in a Title IV “eligible program” to receive such a grant?
Yes, students must be enrolled in an eligible program of study to receive a CARES Act grant. Federal regulations require that students receiving Title IV funding (federal financial aid) must maintain satisfactory academic progress. The guidelines can be found at this link: Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Q. How can I use my CARES Act Grant?
How you spend the grant is up to you but according to the intent of the funds, a student should use this money for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (including eligible expenses related to your cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child care). Forsyth Tech will not require you to submit receipts or other documentation of how you spend your funds.
Q. What if I owe a balance to Forsyth Tech for tuition or other expenses?
You can still be eligible to receive a CARES Act disbursement even if you owe a balance to Forsyth Tech. The college will not deduct any fees from your CARES Act grant. However, any outstanding balances will remain on your account. How you use your CARES Act Emergency Grant is your choice. However, you must still pay off any balances to prevent issues with registration or collections.
Q. Can a student choose to use their grant to pay an outstanding tuition or college bill?
Yes, how you spend the money is up to you. If you wish to use the CARES Act grant to pay for a tuition you can take the money received from your BankMobile payment and use those funds to pay any outstanding bill with the college. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but the Department of Education requires Forsyth Tech to transfer the money directly to the student. It cannot be placed on the student account.
Q. Are international students eligible to receive grants?
No. International students are not eligible for funding.
Q. Are DACA students eligible?
No. DACA students are not eligible for funding.
Q. If I am enrolled in online classes only at Forsyth Tech, am I eligible?
No. Students who were enrolled online only in the Spring 2020 semester are not eligible under Federal guidelines. If a student was enrolled in at least one hybrid or face to face class at the time of disruption (March 13, 2020) and the student meets all other federal requirements, then the student is eligible for a CARES Act grant and will be contacted soon with disbursement information.
Q. Do I have to complete a FAFSA to receive a CARES Act Grant?
Yes, if you have not completed a FAFSA for 2019-2020, you will need to do so as soon as possible so that you can be considered for a CARES Act grant. If you need assistance completing your FAFSA or have any other questions, you can call the Financial Aid office or contact your financial aid counselor directly for help.
Federal regulations require that students receiving Title IV funds (federal financial aid) must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Q. My financial situation has changed a lot due to the coronavirus pandemic. (“I lost my job.” “My hours have been reduced”) What should I do to make sure I am getting the most possible financial aid?
If you have special financial circumstances — such as if an employer closed, your income significantly changed, or other financial hardships — the Financial Aid office may be able to adjust your cost of attendance or other data used in calculating your eligibility. The Financial Aid office may be able to consider your new income or other financial information that has changed instead of the information used on your 2019–20 FAFSA. You can adjust your financial information on the FAFSA Select “Make a Correction to make changes to your FAFSA application.
Q. Will the CARES Act Grant impact my financial aid package?
If you are awarded a CARES Act grant, this grant will not impact your financial aid award package.
Q. Are the federal grants to students taxable?
No, the IRS has announced that the federal grants to students will NOT be taxed. Please visit the IRS CARES Act website or contact the IRS for more guidance.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grants to students and Emergency Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) awards and included on IRS Form 1098-T.
According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the 26 CFR 1.6050S-1 reporting requirements for the 1098-T are still in effect and require all schools to report all “grant aid processed and administered by the institution.” HEERF grants to students and Emergency FSEOG amounts should appear in Box 5.
Further, the IRS FAQs: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act make it clear that students cannot claim any education credits or deductions, so the grant amounts should not appear in Box 1 of the 1098-T.
Q. I already received support from another emergency financial assistance program offered by Forsyth Tech (e.g., Forsyth Tech Emergency Grant, Finish Line Grant, NextGen, scholarship, etc.). Can I still be eligible for a CARES Act Grant?
Yes. Forsyth Tech encourages you to use all financial assistance and support available to you. Visit the FT Cares page for information regarding other available resources, including other emergency financial assistance. If you need additional help, fill out the FT Cares student form.
Q. I didn’t get an email from Financial Aid, but I think I am eligible. Who can I contact?
Check the status of your financial aid thru myForsythTech to see if you have been awarded funds or if there are any missing requirements that you may need to complete. If you have additional questions, you can contact FT Cares.
Q. I am not eligible for a CARES Act Grant. How can I get help for coronavirus-related expenses?
We care deeply about all of our students and want to assist students in meeting their needs, whether it is housing, food, childcare or another need. Please visit the FT Cares page for information regarding available resources, including other emergency financial assistance. If you need assistance, please fill out the FT Cares student form located on that page.