Federal CARES Act

The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Who is Eligible?

  • Currently enrolled degree seeking students that are eligible to receive Title IV funds
  • Completed a 2019/2020 or 2020/2021 FAFSA form
  • Impacted by COVID-19 by:
    • Household loss of employment or reduced hours
  • Students enrolled exclusively in online programs (A.S. Opticianry) are not eligible to receive CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid 
  • The emergency Financial Aid Grant is for students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
  • International, undocumented and DACA students are ineligible for CARES funding

How much CARES Funds have been distributed? 

As of September 10, 2020 HCC has distributed $6,729,344.17 to 13,502 students.

How do I apply?

Students currently enrolled and eligible for Title IV funding will automatically be awarded $300.00 in CARE’s Funding.

How much will I receive?


When will I receive my CARES grant?

Funds will be disbursed after the add/drop period.

What can I spend my funds on?

Funding will be approved for housing, food, utilities, childcare, medical, educational, or technology expenses.

Additional Information 

Hillsborough Community College has signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement to receive $16.2 million from the Department, provided under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Of that amount, at least $8.1 million will be used for emergency student aid.

In distributing these funds, Hillsborough Community College has followed, and will follow, the instructions and guidance provided by the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, and the Certification and Agreement completed by the College.

The U.S. Department of Education has asked the College to identify the estimated total number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. As of September 2020, the College estimates that this number is approximately 19,728. This figure represents Hillsborough Community College students enrolled Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 who have demonstrated their Title IV eligibility and have a valid FAFSA on file, less those who were enrolled exclusively in online programs.  It is possible, however, that some portion of these students, while Title IV eligible, did not incur eligible CARES Act expenses. 

As noted above, according to the CARES Act and guidance from the Department of Education, the “sole and exclusive purpose” for these student grants is for “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.” All applicants seeking funding are required to attest that they have incurred eligible expenses.