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STUDENT EMERGENCY RELIEF GRANT

As of August 14, all of the funds have been awarded. Applications are no longer being accepted.

Student Emergency Relief Grant

About the Grant

The federal government has allocated funds through the CARES Act to assist college students. The grant is earmarked to address “the pressing financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations from coronavirus.” A block grant of specified funds has been allocated to Maranatha, and the university has been given discretion to determine recipients and appropriate amounts according to the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education on April 21, 2020.

Maranatha’s grant application has been approved, and MBU confirmed receipt of an initial installment of funds on April 28. The Scholarship Committee will consider applications weekly on a first-come, first-considered basis until funds are depleted. Due to the significant eligibility criteria imposed by the Department of Education, it will take some time to work through approvals and awards. The Financial Aid office will communicate with applicants regarding the status of all pending requests and any additional information that may be required.

As of May 21, the Department of Education is no longer enforcing any requirement for students to be Title IV eligible in order to receive the grant.

Program Details

Grant Eligibility

As of May 21, the Department of Education is no longer enforcing any requirement for students to be Title IV eligible in order to receive the grant.

Pursuant to the CARES Act, only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. This does not mean that only Pell recipients are eligible for this grant (see below), nor does it mean that you must have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify.

If a student has filed a FAFSA, then the student has already demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting. To the extent MBU has this information on file, those records may be accessed to verify your eligibility.

In addition, eligible students must have been attending classes on campus as of March 13, 2020, when President Trump declared a national emergency related to coronavirus. Maranatha provides both online and ground-based education; those students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020, are not eligible for emergency financial aid grants. The formula provided by Congress for calculating the distribution of funds to institutions excludes students who were exclusively enrolled in distance education courses. Additionally, the emergency financial aid grants to students are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, and students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs would not have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Criteria for Determining Grant Amounts

Maranatha’s Scholarship Committee has been tasked with the responsibility to review grant applications, affirm eligibility, and determine award amounts based on the information provided by each applicant. The committee will prioritize expenses incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child-care expenses. Applications will be awarded weekly on a first-come, first-considered basis until funds are depleted. All grant funds will be distributed within one year of Maranatha’s receipt of the federal emergency grant.

Pursuant to the terms specified by the Department of Education, Maranatha retains discretion to determine the amount of each individual emergency financial aid grant consistent with all applicable laws including non-discrimination laws.

The maximum award under this grant program is set at $6,195, though most awards will be lower. Grant amounts awarded will take into account each student’s particular socioeconomic circumstances in the staging and administration of this grant. The financial aid administrator will exercise the use of professional judgment available under Section 479A of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), 20 U.S.C § 1087tt, to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to exclude individual emergency financial aid grants from the calculation of a student’s expected family contribution. The Department of Education does not consider these individual emergency financial aid grants to constitute Federal financial aid under Title IV of the HEA. (This means that an award of this grant will not reduce your eligibility for federal financial aid next year.)

Distribution Options

The U.S. Department of Education has instructed institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students using checks, electronic transfer payments, pre-paid debit cards, and payment apps that adhere to the Department’s requirements for paying credit balances to students. Disbursement of the emergency financial aid grant to students will remain unencumbered by the institution; debts, charges, fees, or other amounts owed to the institution may not be deducted from the emergency financial aid grant. Once awarded, grant recipients will be asked to provide information needed to process the distribution according to available means and their preference.

CARES Act Institutional Reporting

Pursuant to CARES Act compliance requirements, the following disclosures are provided for public information:

1. Maranatha Baptist University has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $205,154.

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants approved for distribution to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the latest report: $205,154. The amount disbursed to students as of the latest report is: $196,122.54.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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: 440.

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the latest report: 221 awarded.

6. Maranatha is utilizing an online application for students to submit expenses incurred as the result of the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The Scholarship Committee will consider applications weekly on a first-come, first-considered basis until funds are depleted.

7. Refer to this page for instructions, directions, and guidance provided by the Maranatha to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Date of last update: September 14, 2020