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COVID-19 Grants


CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) provides one-time Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants for institutes of higher education (IHE) to help address the immediate needs of students and colleges in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Found in Section 18004 of the CARES Act, this funding is “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” Cabrillo College has been awarded a total of $4,027,260, 50% of which must be given as direct cash emergency grants to students ($2,013,630). The other 50% ($2,013,630) is to cover institutional costs associated with significant changes in the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition, Cabrillo College was awarded $268,328 of Title V DHSI funds to address needs directly related to the coronavirus including prevention, preparation, and response as part of Section 18004 (a)(2) of the CARES Act for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students.

Official Reporting and Notification Requirements

To ensure transparency, keep students and the general public informed, and to be in compliance with Section 18004 of the CARES Act, Cabrillo College reports around the funding and disbursement status for: 1) The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) - Student Aid; 2) The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) - Institutional Portion, and 3) The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Title V - Developing Hispanic Serving Institution (DHSI). Reporting follows the reporting requirements by the Federal Government including those in Section 15011(b)(2) of Division B and Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act.

HEERF CARES Reporting 5/13/20

HEERF CARES Reporting 7/2/20

HEERF CARES Reporting 8/21/20


CARES HEERF - Student Aid

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s Higher Educational Emergency Relief Fund provides one-time grants for students to help address the immediate and urgent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are limited funds for these grants from the Federal government. If you meet federal criteria for eligibility, you can request aid by filling out the following Google form: Cabrillo College Emergency CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant.

CARES HEERF - Student Aid FAQs

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. One aspect of the act was the creation of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF provides funds to institutions for emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awards are $500

Due to the limited amount of funding and to ensure all students have access to assistance, a student may only receive one CARES grant in an academic term. For additional scholarship opportunities please visit the financial aid scholarship page

Cabrillo College has been awarded: 1) $2,013,060 of CARES-HEERF -Student Aid funding for student emergency financial aid grants; 2) $2,013,060 of CARES-HEERF Institutional Portion funding;and 3) $268,328 of CARES Act -HEERF Title V Developing Hispanic Serving Institution (DHSI) grant.

A Student needs to submit a FAFSA in order to be considered for the funding.

A student must be registered for at least 1 unit for the term the grant will be issued.

Students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) who met the additional eligibility criteria were awarded funds automatically in the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms. Now, a student application process is open to allow students with any EFC to apply.

The application can be found at Request for Cabrillo College Emergency CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant.

Emergency funds will be disbursed to most students through Cabrillo’s refund partner, BankMobile. If you have not set up your direct deposit or informed BankMobile how you would like to receive your funds, visit this site to select a refund preference.

The grant should be used for academic-related expenses incurred due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.

Yes – if a student is eligible for an emergency grant, then they will receive the money even if they have current financial holds or owe the campus fees or fines.

We encourage all students to complete the 2020-21 FAFSA as soon as possible. Although you may not have been eligible for the initial disbursements of these emergency grants, you may be eligible for CARES/HEERF emergency grants in the future.

No. Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that students must be eligible to submit a FAFSA in order to qualify. This limits eligibility to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Title IV eligible non-citizens. Cabrillo is committed to serving all students and has funded Dreamer/DACA students with funding from other campus sources instead. For information on these funds please contact the Office of Equity.


CARES HEERF - Institutional Portion

The CARES Act HEERF made funding available to institutions of higher education to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus and those costs that demonstrate a clear nexus with the impact caused by COVID-19. Cabrillo College received an allocation of $2,013,630. There are restrictions that these grant funds cannot be used for payment to contractors for the provision of pre-enrollment activities, for marketing and advertising; endowments; capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship; or executive salaries, benefits, bonuses, etc. Only institutional costs that are first incurred on or after March 13, 2020, the date of the Proclamation of National Emergency, are allowed

CARES HEERF - Institutional Portion FAQs

This grant award of $2,013,630 will focus on institutional costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

Allocation of the CARES HEERF - Institutional Aid funding is going through a carefully vetted process which includes pre-approval by Cabrillo’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) or Cabinet. To date (7/17/20), CARES Act grant funding money has been approved for:

  • Technology expenses for students to successfully transition to online classes
      Chromebooks/Laptops
      Hotspots
  • Non-instructional computer supplies to enable employees (including student workers) to work at home during shelter-in-place such as:
      Laptops/Tablets/Chromebooks
      Webcams
      Netgear adaptors
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to support campus safety during COVID-19, including supplies for hard-to-convert courses for Fall 2020
  • Reimbursement for cancelled student health fees & transportation fees to support these programs during COVID-19.
  • Facility renovations to install safety measures for COVID-19 protection for hard-to-convert courses and other critical campus offices (eg. Student Health Services (SHS) Center).
  • Administrative costs to manage grant (less than 1%).
  • Lydia Arce, Administrative Assistant to CARES Act / Title V lyarce@cabrillo.edu


    HEERF CARES Act - Title V DHSI

    Section 18004 (a)(2) of the CARES Act provides grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to address needs directly related to the coronavirus including prevention, preparation and response. These funds can be used to defray expenses incurred by the institution, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll.

    Cabrillo College has been allocated an additional $268,668 in Title V Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions (DHSI) for a one-year time period. The Title V DHSI program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of Hispanic students. This includes expanding educational opportunities for, and improving the academic attainment of, Hispanic students and expand and enhance academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability of colleges/universities that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and helping large numbers of Hispanic students and other low-income individuals complete postsecondary degrees.

    The focus of this grant will be on directly assisting students at the Watsonville Center in getting access to critical technology and online services so that they can continue their studies at Cabrillo College. These resources will be targeted at the entering cohort of low-income, first-generation, and Latinx students being served in Watsonville.

    HEERF CARES Act - Title V DHSI FAQs

    Title V, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, provides grants to assist Hispanic Serving Institutions to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students.

    Cabrillo College currently manages two Title V grants:

    The CARES Act included billions of dollars in funding for higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Minority Serving Institutions, including Hispanic Serving Institutions such as Cabrillo College, were eligible for additional CARES Act HEERF funds that were determined by a formula.

    Cabrillo College has been allocated one-time Title V DHSI funds of $268,381

    This one-time funding will be used for the following purposes:
  • Provide a tech refresh of two computer labs at the Watsonville Center that were stripped of computers to re-assign to employees and students as a result of COVID-19.
  • Purchase a combination of new Chromebooks and laptops ( approximately 200-250) to be distributed as loaners to students in order to help meet the tech needs of low income, first-generation, Latinx students in Watsonville.
  • Purchase of hotspots and monthly internet services for students to use at home for up to 10 months in order to serve approximately 300 students.
  • Establish virtual support mechanisms (YouTube videos, etc) to introduce students to a basic understanding of how to use Canvas, Zoom, and other important Cabrillo software; 4 TUs for adjunct /overload to develop and deliver content.
  • Hire tech-savvy student assistants/coaches for IT help desk so they can assist with trouble-shooting issues with Chromebooks, laptops, and hotspots for students
  • Hire an Instructional Assistant (IA) to provide virtual instructional support to math instructors in Watsonville for Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Lydia Arce, Administrative Assistant to CARES Act / Title V lyarce@cabrillo.edu


    FEMA Public Assistance Program

    Cabrillo College will be applying for reimbursement of emergency protective efforts through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which has received appropriations of $45 billion as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program Category B – Emergency Protective Measures funding provides federal grant assistance to help communities to respond to a federally declared disaster or emergency by taking emergency protective measures to address these immediate threats to life, public health and safety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Eligible expenses for reimbursement include:

  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC) costs;
  • training specific to the declared event;
  • disinfection of eligible public facilities;
  • technical assistance on emergency management;
  • emergency medical care;
  • medical sheltering;
  • movement of supplies and person;
  • communications of general health and safety information to the public;
  • cost of overtime labor and contractors when directly supporting emergency work or protective measures.
  • Public assistance funding is subject to a cost share: FEMA’s share is 75 percent of eligible costs, Cal OES share is 18.75%, and Cabrillo’s share is 6.25%. Public assistance also cannot duplicate funding from another funding source.

    Eligible applicants must first submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA), followed by submitting funding requests to the recipient through the FEMA’s Public Assistance Grants Portal. The Cabrillo board of trustees have authorized three agents: Bradley Olin, Delana Miller, and Carrie Mulcaire on behalf of the college to obtain FEMA Public Assistance



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