What is the Federal CARES ACT?

It stands for Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Stimulus and is intended to provide direct economic assistance to those impacted by the pandemic.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To qualify for the funds, students had to:
• Be enrolled in classes on March 23, 2020
• File a FAFSA for calendar year 2019-20 to determine basic student eligibility under section 484 of the Higher Education Act as follows:
• Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate.
• Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school (dual credit).
• Be making satisfactory academic progress.
• Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans.
• Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
• Submit a FAFSA for calendar year 2019-20, including the student signature on the statement of educational purpose and a valid Student SSN.
• Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizens.
• Have Selective Service registration verified.
• Have Social Security Number verified.
• Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds
• Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
• Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
• Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.

How much will I receive?

Awards of $400 will be given to all students meeting the eligibility requirements.

How will I receive the payment?

Funds will be paid directly to students via a paper check or direct deposit, and are issued according to the student’s refund selection on record with SRC through Nelnet.  Please make sure your address with SRC is up to date. You will receive an e-mail from Nelnet with directions on how to update/make your refund selection option. You will have 24 hours from the time of this e-mail to update your refund option.

What if I have an outstanding balance due to the College?

You will still receive the entire amount. Any balance due to SRC should be paid using normal billing procedures.

What expenses are covered?

Funds are available to students for the sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses.
By cashing the check or using the direct deposit, you acknowledge you experienced some cost related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Will this money be considered as part of my income?

No, you do not have to report this as income when filing a FAFSA, and it is not considered financial aid when calculating financial need and award eligibility.
NOTE: The Department of Education is yet to determine if CARES Act funding will be listed on a 1098T.  Additional information will be shared on the College website as it comes available. This is NOT considered taxable income. IRS Website

Are there any other financial opportunities for students?

The following may be available:
1. If you have experienced a loss of job or benefits and do not already qualify for the maximum amount of financial aid, you may be able to file a Special Conditions form for Summer 2020 or the 2020-21 Academic Year.  Contact Financial Aid at 309-649-7030.
2. Spoon River College Foundation Emergency Hardship Grant Application Spoon River College Foundation
3. Unemployment Benefits - please note eligibility has been expanded. See Illinois Department of Employment Security

What if I have other questions?

For additional details about the use of Federal CARES Funds or Spoon River College’s response to COVID-19, please monitor the college website at Spoon River College. You may also call the financial aid office at 309-649-7030, or the Business Office at 309-649-7021.

Awarding Information

Spoon River College received $308,824 for student grants and awarded $272,000 to students for the Spring 2020 semester who met the above requirements on May 19, 2020.  Each student was awarded $400.  An additional $8,940 was awarded to students on June 4th who had applied for Emergency Hardship Grants through the Spoon River College Foundation for the Spring 2020 semester and $300 for the Summer 2020 semester. A total of  $281,240 has been distributed to 680 students as of June 4, 2020 with $27,584 remaining to be awarded.  The estimated total number of students eligible to participate in Title IV programs at Spoon River College is 867.  All information above was provided to each recipient.

Page created on May 19, 2020.  Updated June 25, 2020. Updated August 3, 2020. September 17, 2020.