Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) – Policies and Procedures

Public notice (updated May 8, 2020)

This public notice is posted on Advanced Technology Institute’s main website (www.auto.edu) in accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidance.

  1. Advanced Technology Institute signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the HEERF Certification and Agreement indicating at least 50% of any funding it will use under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act will provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. Advanced Technology Institute has been authorized to draw up to $479,439 in HEERF funding. At least half ($239,720) of any funds used by the institution will be disbursed directly to eligible students.
  3. As of October 30, 2020 – $239,720 has been disbursed to 275 students (>100%).
  4. Disbursements are made to every active student on the disbursement date who meet the U.S. Dept. of Education eligibility requirements. ATI has approximately 200 students enrolled each term.
  5. See item 6 for details on counts of eligible students and numbers of students receiving disbursements each term.
  6. Advanced Technology Institute’s first goal was to make an initial disbursement to all students who met federal criteria as soon as possible. Students who have not been awarded Title IV financial assistance for the 2019-20 award year are not eligible, consistent with Department of Education directives. New starts will be eligible when active in courses at the time disbursements are made to students, provided they have also been determined eligible for Title IV federal assistance. In order to support students throughout periods of high COVID impact, disbursements will be allocated each term (module) while funding lasts.
    1. $69,800, approximately 30% of the minimum allocation to be awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students was disbursed the week of May 4th, 2020 to currently active students. 138 students were determined to be eligible, and 138 students received disbursements. Awards were as follows:
      1. $450 to 2019-20 Federal Pell Grant Recipients
      2. $300 All Other Eligible Students
      3. $100 Additional to students in ATI arranged housing and travelled > 50 miles to attend
    2. $60,450, approximately 25% was disbursed the week of May 25th to currently active students for the May term. 135 students were determined to be eligible, and 135 students received disbursements. (NOTE: At the time of disbursement, the U.S. Dept of Education provided additional guidance on student eligibility. It is uncertain if that guidance truly expanded eligibility to additional students. ECPI University is not changing disbursement criteria as a result of this guidance). Awards were as follows:
      1. $450 to 2019-20 Federal Pell Grant Recipients
      2. $300 All Other Eligible Students
      3. $100 Additional to students in ATI arranged housing and travelled > 50 miles to attend.
    3. $64,400, approximately 25% was disbursed the week of July 6th to currently active students for the June term. 169 students were determined to be eligible, and 169 students received disbursements. Awards were as follows:
      1. $400 to 2019-20 Federal Pell Grant Recipients
      2. $300 All Other Eligible Students
    4. $52,000, exceeding the remaining funding, was disbursed the week of October 19th to currently active students for the October term. 188 students were determined to be eligible, and 188 students received disbursements. Awards were as follows:
      1. $300 to Pell Grant recipients at any time in 2020
      2. $200 to all other eligible students who received any Federal Title IV aid in 2020
    5. All student funding has been disbursed. If any institution designated funding remains as of February 2020, it will be allocated to students at that time for extreme COVID related hardships provided they otherwise meet Dept of Education criteria.
  7. Students have been notified in all communications that any funds they receive must be used for COVID related disruptions they have or will experience in transitioning to online education. Students were advised to keep a record of how these funds are used for eligible educational expenses. Eligible expenses could include:
    1. Improving internet connectivity for a better educational experience
    2. Acquiring equipment such as modems, routers, and computers to overcome technology barriers education
    3. Living expenses due to unanticipated job situations in your family (furlough, pay reductions, working fewer hours, job change, etc.)
    4. Supplies to keep you safe to allow study
    5. Students were told if they did not anticipate such expenses, to notify the financial aid office. Some students have made such notifications and are not included in student disbursements.

Disbursements were made by ACH or check depending on whether the student has provided ACH information. Disbursement rosters were delivered to Wells Fargo to execute disbursements after successfully drawing down funding needed from the U.S. Treasury. A personal email was sent to each recipient with the details for each eligible disbursement, and recorded in the college’s Student Information System (SIS). Additionally, these transactions are ‘washed’ through the student ledgers for tracking and required reporting purposes. Disbursements are being regularly reconciled.