Federal CARES Act Utilization

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF I, II, III) to provide emergency grants to students. Grants for those who qualified have been provided for students enrolled during the Winter 2020 through Summer 2021. An application is currently available to enrolled students needing assistance to address such needs for Fall 2021. If you believe you are in need of assistance to address a change in income or have other financial aid questions, please reach out directly to the Office of Financial Aid.

UM-Flint received approximately $27M in Federal CARES Act Funds to be split between payments released to students and institutional impact. $11.7M is dedicated solely to students. We also received approximately $571K for CARES Act Part 3 (Strengthening Institution Program – SIP). Cabinet selected two committees to ensure CARES Act funds are used within the federal guidelines and in the best interest of the institution and our students. The committee members include:

  • CARES Act Student Committee: Lori Vedder (Lead), Julie Snyder, Steve Turner, Dawn Markell, Laura Aghababian, and student, Amena Shukairy. 
  • CARES Act Institutional & SIP Committee: Jerry Glasco (Lead), Erin Kingsley, Shelby Newport, Lori Vedder, and Beth Manning

Federal CARES Act Student Impact

The Emergency CARES Act funding requires a minimum of 50% of the total allocation an institution receives to be awarded to eligible students through direct payments.  In order to qualify for these funds, a student must be Title IV aid eligible. To demonstrate this, a valid FAFSA must be on file with the UM-Flint Office of Financial Aid. The CARES Act Student Committee reviewed the eligible student population and narrowed the population to students whose FAFSA shows an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $20,000 or less. Eligible students automatically received a grant during the Winter 2020, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020 semesters. An online application was made available for additional awarding in August. The grid below shows the awarding of funds to date.

Emergency CARES Grant Spending to Date – as of 3/31/2022
The University of Michigan-Flint officially acknowledges that it has signed and returned and received a fully executed Certification and Agreement on July 7, 2020. The University of Michigan-Flint received $4,600,155 under 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act and. The University of Michigan-Flint received $8,146,874 under Section 314 (a)(1) of CRRSAA and $14,314,634 under Section 2003(a)(a) of the ARP. The University assures the public that we will provide no less $11,942,790 for Emergency Grants to Students.

Total Amount of Emergency Grants to Students to date: $11,941,548.45

Estimated total eligible students: 6,120

Total number of eligible students that have completed applications for Emergency Grants to date: 4,215 (15 in Quarter 1)

Total number of students that have received Emergency Grants to date: 6,120

The University of Michigan-Flint took a bit different approach continuing into the Winter 2022 semester. The Dean of Student’s Office is part of the campus “Cares Team.” As emergencies or needs were continuing to arise for students this winter, the team of employees made recommendations for funding to students after speaking with them one on one. Those amounts were provided to the Office of Financial Aid for review. The Dean of Student’s employee was then notified if the HEERF grant was approved and in turn notified the student directly. If the student was using it toward a tuition balance due, the waiver form was completed by the student. Approved eligible expense categories included, but were not limited to food, personal hygiene, housing, utilities, course materials, technology, tuition, transportation as well as a “other” category.

These recommendations were reviewed on a weekly basis and a list provided to the Cashier for disbursement.

In an attempt to finalize spending of the student portion of HEERF funding, a block grant was provided to students enrolled in Winter 2022. Enrolled students receiving this grant must have a $0 expected family contribution as determined by the 2021-22 FAFSA currently on file with the Office of Financial Aid and, were enrolled in the winter 2022 semester. There were approximately 1200 students eligible for this final round of funding. The block grant was for $330 for everyone eligible.

Federal CARES Act Institutional Impact

This funding came with some broad restrictions related to COVID expense impact and a few specific exceptions like refunds to students for housing and dining contracts. This committee is still collecting information and evaluating needs as we start the Fall Semester and look toward the Winter Semester. Our guiding principles for decision making are:

  • Ensure students forced online do not pay online or mixed-mode course fees:
    • These student fees have been eliminated.
    • We are using CARES Act Funds to support the operating costs of the Office of Digital Learning (ODE) which was 100% funded by these fees.
    • The annual cost to operate OEL is approximately $2M.
    • Total estimated spent through 6/30/21 will be $2.2M
    • Resources other than the CARES Act will also be needed.
  • Housing & Dining student refunds totaling $264K for the Winter Term were issued.
  • Ensure and Support a Safe Return to Campus:
    • We have allocated $350K of the CARES Act Fund for this purpose.
    • We are working with the Re-opening Committee and Flint COVID Supplier Team to assess what is needed.
    • $310K has been spent or committed.  Leaving us approximately $40K.
    • This includes supplies (face coverings, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and Plexiglas), signage, desk shields, health screening stations, card readers, meals for students in quarantine, electrostatic sprayers for sanitizing, and equipment/furniture moving costs to promote social distancing in the classroom.
  • Support of Remote Teaching and Working Remotely:
    • We’ve allocated $380K for this purpose.
    • $30K of the allocation was micro-grants managed by the Thompson Center for Learning & Teaching to respond to faculty requests. 80 faculty members received these micro-grants. 
    • $280K has been spent or committed.  Leaving about $100K for additional needs.
    • We have accepted requests from budget units and provided support for Supplemental Instruction for classrooms & labs, laptops, software, cameras and microphones, and supplies for face-to-face instruction.
    • We have set funding aside to support Winter 2021 courses. 
  • Compensation costs for DPS, FO, and EHS as allowed by the grant.
    • Coverage period is from January through June.
    • Estimate compensation costs equal $2.18M.
  • IT infrastructure projects to support online learning and social distancing are estimated at $2.5M.
  • Lost revenue from auxiliary operations for FY21.
    • Estimated total of $4M.
    • Units include Housing, Recreation Center, Dining, EBS, ECDC, and Printing Services.
  • Creation of Hyper-flex Classrooms – amount TDB.
  • Conversion costs to move courses to an online format – amount TBD.
  • Lost tuition revenue – amount TBD.
  • There is approximately $8.67M to be used on the initiatives where costs are still to be determined, adjustments to current initiatives, and other initiatives that fit within the guidelines of the Federal Funding.

Federal CARES Act Reporting