Sandburg Participation in Federal CARES Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund(HEERF)
Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act of the CARES Act

On behalf of the Sandburg Community, Carl Sandburg College will participate in the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to the qualifying students in the district. This webpage provides the required disclosures as outlined by the Department of Education.

Sandburg is committed to serving our students during this time, providing quality education, and allowing our students to move forward with their education via remote learning and student services. This is new for all of us - but rest assured we are here for our community.



Sandburg signed the CARES Certification and Agreement on April 10, 2020, and received its allocation on April 22, 2020.

  • The CARES Agreement provided Sandburg $1,175,052

HEERF Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants

  • 50% of the funds received under this agreement, or $587,526 will be used to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    • HEERF grants to students (HEERF Student Share) are intended to go DIRECTLY TO STUDENTS for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.

HEERF Institutional Grants 



Our initial plan was to provide a portion of the funds to all enrolled student's including our Dual Credit students, however, guidance from DOE required the institution to limit awards to students who qualified under the 484 of the Higher Education Act. In order to qualify for the funds, students had to:

  • Be enrolled in classes on March 20, 2020.
  • File a FAFSA for the calendar year 2019-20, or 2020-21 to determine eligibility under section 484 of the Higher Education Act as follows:
    • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.
    • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school.
    • Be making satisfactory academic progress.
    • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans.
    • Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
    • Submit a FAFSA for calendar years 2019-20 or 2020-21, including the student signature on the statement of educational purpose and a valid Student SSN.
    • Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizens.
    • Have Selective Service registration verified.
    • Have a Social Security Number verified.
    • Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds.
    • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
    • Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
    • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.



Number Of Students:

  • 1725: Students enrolled on March 20, 2020.
  • 1211: U.S. Residents beyond High School.
  • 1015: File the FAFSA and qualified for CARES payment on May 10, 2020*

To identify eligible students, Sandburg searched the enrolled students, removed dual credit, foreign, and students who had not filed a FAFSA, students who were not meeting SAP requirements, students who had not satisfied items listed under 484 of the higher education act listed above. We recognize all students experienced costs due to the closures, so Sandburg included all students who had filed a FAFSA regardless of income and /or financial need.



Awards were based on credit hours enrolled as of March 20, 2020. Courses dropped prior to that date will not count when determining eligibility. The average credit hours enrolled was 10.31 credits.

  • Awards of $700 were given to any student enrolled in 10 or more credits.
  • Awards of $350 were given to students enrolled in 9 or fewer credits.



Section 18004 (e.) Heerf Student Share Reporting

  Report Date Amount Spent Cumulative Student Expenditures Students Awarded Notes
5.10.2020 $578,200 $578,200 1015 Remaining funds will be allocated to students who File a FAFSA, meet the 484 of the higher education ACT requirements and who are actively enrolled for Spring, Summer, or Fall of the calendar year 2020, and who submit a request through the CRISIS Grant Program through the Carl Sandburg College Foundation 
6.23.2020 $1,600 $579,600 1015  
8.7.2020 $0 $579,600 1015 No new awards this period.
9.17.2020 $7,726 $587,526 1022 Seven new students awarded, other awards increased.  100% of the Emergency Financial Grants to Students have been expended.  


$0 $587,526 1022 Quarterly Update - No change
1.7.2021 -$700 $586,826 1021 $700 restored to account for uncashed check.
4.5.2021 $700 $587,526 1022 Awarded one student to replace unused funds last quarter. Student Cares Act Funds are 100% expended.




  • Awards were processed as a financial aid disbursement called Federal CARES Awards
  • Students are able to view their awarded amount and disbursements using the mySandburg portal. Initial awards are recorded in the Spring 2020 term. Summer 2020 awards are possible starting May 18.
  • Students are paid via check or electronic funds disbursement if selected on the student account.
  • These funds are paid to the student DIRECTLY, as required by the Department of Education.
    • Students with outstanding balances to the college received the entire disbursement. Any balance due to the college should be paid using the normal billing procedures.



The purpose of these funds, as outlined under the HEERF Student Share, is for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course material, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.



Sandburg allowed anticipated costs for Shelter at Home and remote learning as follows: While all students will not experience all of these costs, this represents costs that a student could experience due to the pandemic.

  • Increase in utilities and home necessities $200 per month.
  • Increase in food, cleaning supplies, and general household expenses of $200 per month.
  • Allowance of $60 per month for improved internet capacity and phone access understanding multi-family members need access to services.
  • Technology and course materials, printing supplies, and required for online learning $600 per term. This would include the upgrade of phones, routers, computers, printers, and supplies necessary to operate while learning remotely.
  • Health care costs $50 per month for medications, facemasks, office visits, etc.
  • Child-care expenses $600 per month for students with qualifying children.

The cost outlined here establishes the budget within which CARES Funds can be allocated. Remote learning for Sandburg for Spring is based on two months for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 and total costs range from $1620 to $2820 for each period. Students will not be asked to report individual costs, however, the total amount of CARES funds to an individual student cannot exceed these thresholds without further documentation from the student.

By cashing the check or utilizing the direct deposit, students acknowledge they experienced cost related to the disruption of campus operations.



  • DO NOT report this as income when filing a FAFSA.
  • This is not considered financial aid when calculating financial aid and award eligibility.
  • This is NOT considered taxable income. 



We appreciate congress making this money available for our students and we realize this does not solve all the financial hardships students may face. The following may be available to help students during this time: 

  • If you have experienced a loss of job or benefits and you do not already qualify for the maximum amount of financial aid, you may be able to file a Special Conditions form for Summer 2020 or the 2020-21 Academic Year
  • Unemployment Benefits - please note benefit eligibility has been expanded, so check here.
  • Galesburg Chamber of Commerce provides an extensive list of services.