CARES Act Funding Information for Students

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

As part of allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Seattle Film Institute has received a 314(a)(4)/Proprietary Institutions Grant Funds for Students.  Seattle Film Institute received $66,048.00
(Grant Award: P425Q2101780. and the  institution has  signed and returned an acknowledgement to the Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution will or has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Under section 314(c)(3) of the CRRSAA, a Recipient will make emergency financial aid grants to students (which may include students exclusively enrolled in distance education), which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care.

The institution prioritizes grants to students with exceptional needs such as students who receive Pell grants.  However, students do not need to be Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell Grants in order to receive an emergency financial aid grant and the institution also prioritizes students whose existing financial aid from such sources as the federal government, Washington State, the Veterans Affairs Office, and tribal funding still leave the student with a “gap” in their tuition accounts.  In general, the amount of each individual grant will not exceed $3,000.00.

Seattle Film Institute will begin allocating grants for students attending Fall Quarter 2021 (which commences September 27, 2021) by prioritizing undergraduate continuing students who were enrolled in Summer Quarter 2021 with new students and  graduate students by exception.

3rd quarter Report: July-September 2021

For the calendar quarter ending September 30, 2021, Seattle Film Institute made no grants (see the timetable above) for a total of $0.00.

4th quarter Report: October-December 2021

For the 4th quarter 2021, SFI awarded grants to less than 10 students for a total of $20,564.44.

1st Quarter Report:  January-March 2022

For the 1st quarter 2022, SFI awarded grants to less than 10 students for a total of $14,638.00.

2nd Quarter Report:  April-June 2022

For the 2nd quarter 2022, SFI awarded 13 grants for a total of $18,084.00

CARES Act Grant 2020

What is the CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by the United States Congress to provide economic relief from COVID-19. Part of the Act establishes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which includes money for emergency financial aid grants to be provided directly to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. These funds are meant to help students pay for extraordinary expenses during this time such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare.

Do I have to apply for the CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds?
No. There is no application process. Students who meet the basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid  and the eligibility requirements outlined below will receive funds automatically.

Eligibility Requirements for Summer Term
You are eligible to receive funds if you meet the following requirements:
•    Have a completed FAFSA for 2019-20 and/or 2020-21
•    Be enrolled as an undergraduate in Summer Quarter 2020 (Quarter commencing June 8, 2020)
•    Have received federal financial aid for Summer Quarter 2020
•    Be in good standing:  Making Satisfactory Academic Progress during Summer 2020; No unauthorized delinquent balance with the business office
•    Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen

About the Fund and Determination of Distribution Amount
Seattle Film Institute (SFI) applied for CARES Act funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.  The Department of Education determined the amount of funds that each college was eligible to receive by using a formula based on student enrollment. In addition, each college had to adhere to the Higher Education Act of 1965, Section 484. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Student Aid, provided Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act.
SFI has received an allocation of $101,834.00 in CARES Act funds. SFI, as determined by the Department of Education will use half the funds ($50,917.00) for emergency assistance for students, the remaining amount will be spent in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Department of Education.  Distribution of the emergency funds to the 26 students that meet eligibility requirements results in an award of $1,985.34 per student.  As of 9/30/20, Seattle Film Institute has distributed $47,000.32 to students and $3,916.68 is pending or unclaimed.  Seattle Film Institute has applied its institutional portion of $50,917.00 to expenses related to operating additional class sections to enable social distancing, such as those for hiring more instructors and increasing campus hours of operations and to campus safety and operations.  The quarterly report details these expenses and is the final institutional report as Seattle Film Institute has expended its allotted institutional funding. As of 12/31/21, Seattle Film Institute reallocated the unclaimed funds of $3,916.68 to new awards to students.

When will SFI distribute the CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds?
SFI will distribute emergency relief grants for summer quarter the week starting the week of July 20, 2020. Eligible students will receive an email to their SFI email account notifying them about their emergency grant award.

If I receive a grant and have an outstanding balance, will the funds be applied to it?
No. These funds will be distributed directly to you and will not be withheld to be applied towards any outstanding balance.  Funds are only released to registered students in good standing.  If you have a delinquent balance after week 2, you should arrange to pay SFI separately or make arrangements to remove your account from an unauthorized delinquent status.  Contact Susan McElory in the business office at 206-568-4387 or [email protected].

Do I need to report the CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds on my tax return?
No. These one-time emergency aid grants are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, visit the IRS website.
What if I have more questions about the CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds?
If you have any additional questions about the CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds or your specific award, please contact Ted Haase, Director of Financial Aid (206-568-4387; [email protected]) for assistance.