CARES ACT Student Emergency Aid Funding FAQS


Am I eligible for CARES Act funds?

Eligible students must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be enrolled in at least one in-person course for the Spring 2020 semester;
  • Must be enrolled in a degree program;
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid (federal financial aid, including student loans);
  • Should have a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file (can apply for 2019-2020 at https://fafsa.gov through June 30, 2020);
  • Enrollment was impacted by COVID-19 and have expenses incurred for housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare, or childcare;
  • Cannot be an international or undocumented student.

What does it mean to be "eligible to receive Title IV aid?"

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number;
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you are a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • Have a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file. (FAFSA can be filed at https://fafsa.gov, the 2019-2020 FAFSA is due by June 30th)

I am an international student and not a citizen of the United States.  Am I eligible for a CARES Act grant? 

No. Eligible students must be eligible to file a FAFSA. International and undocumented students are not eligible to file a FAFSA.  

How can students apply for CARES Act funds? 

Eligible students will be sent a link to your GCC email account to apply for the CARES Act funds.  Funds may be limited in number and size due to funding constraints, therefore we encourage applicants to apply by June 30, 2020. You will be notified via your GCC email of approval or denial of your application within 5 business days of submitting your application. 

What are the types of expenses covered by CARES Act funding? 

Eligible expenses for CARES Act funding include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical, food, housing, utilities, technology expenses, relocation costs to return home, unexpected childcare, course materials, and other unexpected expenses due to the disruption of campus due to the COVID-19 crisis.

How much funding will I get? 

Award amounts vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances. 

What should I do if I’m not sure that my expense would be covered by CARES Act funding? 

We encourage all students to fill out the application and describe the funding they need to successfully pursue their studies. 

How long before I know if I’m awarded? 

We anticipate a large volume of applications and will work to process submissions as quickly as possible. Our goal is to provide funding decisions as soon as possible, and ideally within 5 business days depending upon the sufficiency of your application. We recomend setting up direct deposit as outlined below.

What documentation am I required to submit for the CARES Act application? 

Students will be required to submit the application. The CARES Committee may reach out for additional documentation based on Department of Education and SUNY guidelines if needed. The Committee will contact the student via email and outline any supporting documentation needed.  

How will I receive the funding if my request is approved? 

Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your funding. Designate your bank account in your MyGCC account. Follow the instructions below to manage your refund: 

  1. Login to your MyGCC account
  2. Click on My Account
  3. Click on My Banner Self-Service
  4. Click on Manage My Student Account
  5. Click on Manage My Refund
  6. Enter your bank account information (routing number and account number required)

The College processes weekly refunds each Thursday.  Those students who are eligible for a refund during that weekly process will have their funds deposited the following Tuesday.  Due to the volume of applications, we cannot accomodate special requests at this time.

If you are not able to set up a direct deposit account, you will be mailed a paper check, issued by Wells Fargo bank and mailed to the mailing address on file (if no mailing address exists the check will be mailed to the permanent address). Be advised that this method can take several weeks for the check to arrive.  Be sure to check your address in your myGCC to make sure we have your correct address.

I graduate this semester. Can I still receive assistance? 

Yes, graduates are encouraged to apply by June 30, 2020. The fastest way to recieve the funds is by direct deposit, see above.

I need more funding. Can I reapply for more than what I originally requested? 

At this time, the College is awarding students based on the agreed upon procedure with SUNY. If a student needs additional funding they can contact cares@genesee.edu to request a supplemental grant application. The CARES Committee will begin reviewing supplemental requests July 6, 2020.

CARES ACT FAQS- Community, Faculty, Staff

I know of a GCC student who needs financial help. Where do I refer them to?

Eligible students will be sent a link to their GCC email account to apply for the CARES Act funds.  Funds may be limited in number and size due to funding constraints, therefore we encourage applicants to apply by June 30, 2020. Students will be notified via their GCC email of approval or denial of their application within 5 business days of submitting their application. 

Half of the CARES Act funding is going to GCC students as required by the federal government.  How is the College using the other 50 percent of the funds distributed? 

Institutions will receive allocations and guidance for the institutional share of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the coming weeks. Institutions will be able to use these funds to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.