Ozarks Technical Community College Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

On May 6, 2020, the Office of Postsecondary Education published requirements for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting. Reporting for HEERF funds distributed to the Ozarks Technical Community College will begin 30 days from the U.S. Department of Education awarded grant documents and each 45 days thereafter.

This document provides the necessary information to comply with Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” (or the “Act”)), Pub. L. No. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281.

REPORTS

July 5, 2020 - 45-Day Report

Institution has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement document under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1.  The total amount of funds that the institution will receive from the Department for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $3,975,331.
  2. As of July 5, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $2,225,524
  3. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 5,334.
  4. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 5,273.
  5. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The Ozarks Technical Community College CARES Act grant provided a one-time grant of $500 to each Title IV eligible student enrolled in the summer term to be used as needed by the student for the coronavirus disruption.  There was an application required for this $500 grant.  Student eligibility was vetted through the college’s Financial Aid office.

Future disbursements are planned for the fall semester based on students’ technology needs. These remaining emergency grants will be awarded through an application process to students who meet eligibility requirements.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

On May 8, 2020, eligible students received an email regarding the summer emergency grants providing instructions on the application process.  As the grants were awarded, 500 eligible students received an email regarding the June 19th distribution of the $500 grants.

The communications are posted below.

MAY 21, 2020 - 30-Day Report

  1. On April 10, 2020, the Certification and Agreement were signed and returned to the Department of Education. Furthermore, Ozarks Technical Community College intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The college’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding was awarded on April 21, 2020.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $3,975,331
  3. As of May 21, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $1,974,656
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 5,334. However, this number may increase.
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 5,271.
  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • The Ozarks Technical Community College CARES Act grant provided an emergency one-time grant of $434 to each Title IV eligible Pell student and $267 to each Title IV eligible non-Pell student enrolled in the spring term to be used as needed by the student for the coronavirus disruption. (This was a 75% – 25% distribution of Pell-eligible to non-Pell eligible.) Only students who were enrolled as of March 13, 2020, were considered eligible, and students who were enrolled exclusively in online courses as of March 13, 2020, were not considered eligible, based on implementation guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Future disbursements are planned for June and August, based on student need. These remaining emergency grants will be awarded through an application process to students who meet eligibility requirements.
  7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
    • On April 30, 2020, eligible students received an email regarding the May 6th distribution. The communications are posted below.

COMMUNICATION TO STUDENTS

Email #1 - 2020, April 30 - CARES Money for You!

The following email was sent to 3397 current students:

Dear Student:
We realize many OTC students are feeling the strain of the extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19. We know it’s hard to concentrate on your studies with everything that is occurring in our state and nation. Financial concerns are certainly on the list of concerns for our students. This week, the college received notice of federal stimulus dollars as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Nearly $2 million dollars will be transferred directly to OTC students and disbursements will be available May 6, 2020.

Since you are eligible to receive federal student aid, you will receive $434

There will also be federal stimulus money set aside as emergency grants for eligible students who suffered hardship due to COVID-19. Details on how students may apply for those funds will be made available in the coming days. This money is a grant for you and DOES NOT have to be paid back! If you have a spring balance, when you receive the refund, you may choose to pay the amount toward your spring balance.

I hope you remain healthy, and good luck with finals.

Sincerely,

Joan M. Barrett, Ed.D
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Ozarks Technical Community College
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO. 65802
Office: (417) 447-6914
Mobile: (417) 818-8461

Email #2 - 2020, April 30 - CARES Money for You!

The following email was sent to 1874 current students:

Dear Student:
We realize many OTC students are feeling the strain of the extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19. We know it’s hard to concentrate on your studies with everything that is occurring in our state and nation. Financial concerns are certainly on the list of concerns for our students. This week, the college received notice of federal stimulus dollars as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Nearly $2 million dollars will be transferred directly to OTC students and disbursements will be available May 6, 2020.

Since you are eligible to receive federal student aid, you will receive $267

There will also be federal stimulus money set aside as emergency grants for eligible students who suffered hardship due to COVID-19. Details on how students may apply for those funds will be made available in the coming days. This money is a grant for you and DOES NOT have to be paid back! If you have a spring balance, when you receive the refund, you may choose to pay the amount toward your spring balance.

I hope you remain healthy, and good luck with finals.

Sincerely,

Joan M. Barrett, Ed.D
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Ozarks Technical Community College
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO. 65802
Office: (417) 447-6914
Mobile: (417) 818-8461

Email #3 - 2020, May 8 - COVID-19 Grant for the Summer Semester!

The following email was sent to 4855 current students:

Dear Student:

Ozarks Technical Community College is offering emergency needs grants on a limited basis this summer for students impacted by COVID-19. OTC will distribute $500 grants for students taking at least 6 hours of credit this summer, which begins Monday, June 1.

The grant is open to current OTC students whose spring semester was disrupted by the global pandemic. To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

1). Enrolled in at least six hours at OTC for summer 2020

2). Complete a short application letting us know the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your academic life. Please click here for the application.

Time is running out to get registered for summer classes! If you should have any questions, please call Student Services at 417 447-6900.

Sincerely,

Joan M. Barrett, Ed.D
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Ozarks Technical Community College
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO. 65802

Email #4 - 2020, May 13 - Congratulations! You are getting $500!

The following email was sent to 503 current students:

Dear Student:

Thank you for your recent submission of the OTC COVID-19 Emergency Grant Application.  You are receiving $500 to assist you during this time.  Many students have been impacted by the recent pandemic and we are encouraged by your determination to continue your education this summer by enrolling in 6 credit hours.

This grant was funded by the federal CARES Act and is not required to be repaid by you.  The grant will be applied to your OTC student account on June 19, 2020 with an anticipated refund on June 26, 2020 and can be used towards any COVID-19 expenses you have incurred.  If you choose to pay the amount towards your OTC charges for the summer, you may do so through your MyOTC login.

I hope the spring semester is coming to a successful close and we look forward to having you in classes this summer.  Please know we are here for you during these trying times.  Please go to this website when you need assistance.

Sincerely,

Joan M. Barrett, Ed.D
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Ozarks Technical Community College
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO. 65802