Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Pierce College students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can now access emergency funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Funding is available through the Pierce College Financial Aid office to assist students with expenses related to disruptions to their education due to the pandemic.  Below are details about how these funds will work, and how you can apply:

  • Apply for funding through the application in the MyPierce student portal, where you will explain how you have been impacted and your overall financial need.
  • Funds can be requested for costs that arise due to coronavirus such as any component of cost of attendance:
    • Tuition
    • Food
    • Housing
    • Health care (including mental)
    • Child care
  • All students who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to apply for funding – even if you have never applied for Financial Aid before.
  • Any student who has been enrolled on or after March 13, 2020 is eligible for funds.  Students with higher need will receive priority.
  • These funds are similar to grants, and do not need to be repaid.

Students are encouraged to complete a FAFSA/WASFA application to determine all funds they are eligible to receive in financial aid. 

CARES Act - Student Aid

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

Pierce College has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that Pierce College has used or intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Pierce College has received $1,962,602.00 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to disburse to students. And has estimated that 7000 students may be 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.

In order to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and using guidance from the Department of Education that limits who/what qualifies for a grant, students are asked to complete an application that is available online. Once submitted, it is reviewed to verify whether it qualifies and, if so, a funding matrix is used to determine award amounts.

  • As of May 28, 2020, Pierce College disbursed $238,400.00 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 219 students.
  • As of December 30, 2020, Pierce College has disbursed $985,515.00 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 610 students.
  • As of March 31, 2021, Pierce College has disbursed $1,720,070 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 858 students.

HEERF I, II, II (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) Institutional Portion
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting Requirements