As provided in the CARES Act legislation, the U.S. Dept of Education has authorized emergency financial aid to students through the CARES Act to address financial needs due to the disruption of campus operations from COVID-19. Students are eligible for the CARES Act funding if they meet the specific criteria according to the guidance released from the U.S. Department of Education.
For the full CARES Act legislation, please visit: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748
For a summary of eligibility guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, please visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/heerfstudentfaqs.pdf
CARES Act for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Students
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (WGTC) signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education on April 11, 2020 for the CARES Act Grant in the amount of 1,279,447 to be distributed to eligible students. WGTC also signed and returned the Certification and Agreement for the Institutional portion of the CARES Act grant in the amount of $1,279,446 on April 23, 2020.
First Distribution Plan – Released May 11, 2020
Under the guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia as of the date of the release, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College awarded CARES Act Emergency Relief funds in the amount of $800 for Spring Semester 202014 enrolled students who meet the eligibility criteria on or before May 6, 2020.
Second Distribution Plan –Released June 11, 2020
WGTC ran a second distribution of funds for the CARES Act Emergency Relief. This second distribution provided funds for students who met some of the eligibility requirements after the first disbursement and any students became eligible at the time of the distribution based on revised or updated guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia. The amount of funds to be distributed per students was still $800 per student.
Third and Final Disbursement Plan – Released June 23, 2020
Funds left over after all eligible students have been identified through the first and second rounds of disbursements were equally divided and disbursed to all eligible students on June 23, 2020. 1421 students were found to be eligible for CARES Act Funds during the evaluation of eligibility. The remaining balance was distributed to the students in the amount of $100.39.
Communication of Distribution Plan to Students
All Spring Semester eligible students were sent an email to their college email address as well as a text notification to check their email. The email contained the information on the Distribution plan as well as the below FAQ questions and answers. The email was sent multiple times and an example of the email template can be found here.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for CARES Act Funding for the first distribution, students must meet the following requirements:
- Be enrolled in at least one on-campus class as of March 14, 2020 (Spring Semester 202014) in a Title IV eligible program leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree
- Guidance received after the first disbursement allowed for students in non-Title IV eligible programs to be eligible for funds if they met the remaining criteria below.
- Meets Title IV eligibility for Federal Financial Aid for the 19-20 Aid Year as of April 27, 2020.
- SAP status must be good, warning, on an approved SAP appeal, or SAP Continuation Plan for 202014
Who is not eligible?
The following students are not eligible for CARES Act Funds under the first Distribution Plan:
- Dual Enrolled High School students
- Transients (host)
- Department of Corrections Students
- DACA/Foreign Students
- Special Admit Students
- Dental Hygiene Students from Valdosta State University
- Students with defaulted federal student loans, overpayments or other loan eligibility restrictions
- Were only enrolled in a Part of Term that ended prior to March 14, 2020
- Were only enrolled in online/distance education classes for Spring Semester 2020 (202014)
- Withdrew from all Spring 2020 courses prior to March 14, 2020
- Have outstanding FAFSA verification requirements
- Students on financial aid suspension (paying out of pocket to attend)
How will the money be disbursed?
Funds will be disbursed using our refund partner, Bank Mobile. Some students who qualify for this funding may not have received refunds from the college in the past and as a result have not established a refund preference with Bank Mobile. In order to receive the funds timely, students must specify their refund preference online with Bank Mobile.
What are the options for receiving my refund?
There are 3 options available:
- Electronic deposit to an established account at a financial institution of your choice.
- Electronic deposit to a BankMobile Vibe account which includes a debit card for ATM withdrawals or for purchases from any retailer who accepts debit/credit cards.
- Check by mail to address on student account. (Please note: These checks can be difficult to cash locally for those who do not already have an established account with a local financial institution. Options 1 and 2 are highly encouraged).
- When selected as preference – will be mailed at disbursement date.
- No selection – will be mailed after 30 days of inactivity. A refund preference can still be set up until that time.
How do I set up my refund preference with Bank Mobile?
www.RefundSelection.com. Go to “Enter Your Personal Code” if you already have one. If not, click on the link for “Need a Code?” and follow the instructions to have a new code generated and emailed to you.
If I already have a refund preference established with Bank Mobile for previous refunds issued, will I receive this refund the same way?
Yes, unless you make a change prior to the disbursement date.
I have a preference set up with Bank Mobile but forgot my login information. How do I access my account?
Go to www.BankMobileVibe.com and click “Login” or “Forgot Login Information?”
How do I change a refund preference that was previously set up?
Go to www.RefundSelection.com or www.BankMobileVibe.com and click “Login” or “Forgot Login Information”.
Can I change the PIN on my card to access ATMs or do PIN-based transactions?
Yes. Log in to your account at www.BankMobileVibe.com.
How will I know when my refund has been issued?
You can register for mobile alerts on your Bank Mobile account and you will be notified by email or text message that your refund has been disbursed.
How quickly will the funds be deposited into my account?
This depends on your financial institution processes and policies. Some funds may be available immediately and others may be the following business day.
How can I get additional assistance from Bank Mobile?
- For a very extensive resource for additional information, see link for FAQs and an interactive search feature at www.bankmobilevibe.com
- Contact Customer Care at 1-877-327-9515
- Tweet @AskBMD!
- Email the support team under the FAQ tab once logged in to your account.