The Diné College community has been impacted disproportionately by COVID-19 and settling into a “new normal” presents unprecedented challenges. We have great concern for our students as more cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in our community.
Fortunately, some financial help is on its way. As you may have heard in recent news, Congress recently allocated approximately $13.86 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Approximately $6.25 billion of these funds are for institutions to provide to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
Diné College has received from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) these HEERF funds and will begin disbursing to students who were enrolled as of March 13th. Congress and ED has imposed certain restrictions on which students may receive these funds and for what purposes.
- ED prohibits these funds from being disbursed to students who are not eligible for federal financial aid.
- This prohibition prevents international students and undocumented students from receiving a HEERF allocation.
- Title IV eligibility requirement prevents the distribution of these funds to students in default on a student loan or who have not registered for selective service.
- Students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020 (the date the President proclaimed a national emergency) are not eligible for these funds. ED is taking the position that because these students were not considered in the Congressional allocation formula, they would not have eligible expenses.
The HEERF student funds are intended to assist students for expenses related to COVID-19-related campus disruption. Diné College is apportioning these funds to eligible students for a uniform amount based on their part-time or full-time enrollment.
Full-time students will receive an amount larger than part-time students.
Student eligible will be contacted by College email to complete a Campus Site Pick-Up Delivery questionnaire. Please monitor your emails. Date and time of Drive-Thru Disbursement will be announced to those eligible students to visit a campus, following strict protocols on staying in their vehicles, wearing Personnel Protective Equipment (PPEs), verifying Identification (ID) and providing a receiving signature.