CARES/ HEERF Grants for Students

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant Fund provides emergency financial aid assistance to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

On April 15, 2020, Butler County Community College completed the Certification and Agreement that provided the College with $941,416 of emergency relief funds for eligible BC3 students. An initial round of approved $450 awards was designated to be distributed to eligible BC3 students starting May 14, 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. One aspect of the act was the creation of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF provides funds to institutions for emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the HEERF Emergency Grants website to learn more.

BC3 has been allocated $941,416 to provide Emergency Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are intended to help with academically related expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.

BC3’s allocation was determined by the US Department of Education based on the number of Pell Grant-eligible students enrolled on campus (70% of the weight) and the overall enrollment (30% of the weight). Given the weighting, Congress clearly intends the funds to go to students with the most financial need.

On May 14, 2020 BC3 distributed $657,450.00 in HEERF funds to 1,461 eligible BC3 students with each student receiving a CARES grant award of $450.00. We know that many students' may have additional financial needs related to COVID-19 pandemic, so additional resources will also be distributed to enrolled and qualifying students. The federal government has allowed up to a year to distribute these funds for this reason.

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. If a student has filed a 19-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a 19-20 FAFSA but who are eligible to file also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following criteria:

  • Degree seeking at BC3
  • Not enrolled in elementary or secondary school
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or be in default on a Title IV loan
  • Be a US citizen or national permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have Selective Service registration verified
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • High School graduate or equivalent

Yes, BC3 must have a completed 19-20 FAFSA on file in order to disburse a CAREs grant. This can be done at

Yes – if a student is eligible for an emergency grant, then they will receive the money even if they have current financial holds or owe the campus fees or fines.

No, all students that are enrolled as of March 13, 2020 of the spring 2020 semester are eligible for CAREs grants regardless of the number of course or credit they are enrolled in.

Eligible students will receive the CAREs grants automatically and are not required to take any additional action. CAREs grants will be automatically disbursed to students through the Finance Office. No application is needed for the initial grant awards.


Each CARES grant will be for $450.00. The $450 grant was based on general estimated costs for all eligible students who were moved to online classes as a result of the coronavirus.

Estimated costs:

Broadband Access (3 months at $75/ month) $225.00
Printer related expenses (cartridges & paper) $150.00
Computer equipment, supplies, software subscriptions $ 75.00


Students will be notified by regular mail and by email. Letters and emails were sent on May 14th and 15th.

Students who are enrolled in the BC3 EZ Refund program will receive their CAREs grant electronically. All other students will receive a check in the mail.

EZ Refund Students should receive their funds electronically on May 14, 2020 or May 15, 2020. Students not enrolled in the EZ Refund should receive their checks by mail 3 to 5 business days from May 15, 2020.

The grant is intended to reimburse the student for academic-related expenses incurred due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare. The student will not have to maintain receipts or provide any accounting of the expenses.

We encourage all students to complete the FAFSA for both the current year (2019-2020) and for the upcoming year (2020-2021). Although you may not be eligible for the initial disbursements of these CAREs grants now, you may be eligible for CARES/HEERF emergency grants and other funds in the future.

Students can complete the 2019-20 FAFSA through June 30, 2020. The 2019-20 FAFSA covers the spring 2020 and summer 2020 terms. Completing the FAFSA will allow students to be considered for many kinds of financial aid.

Please send questions to

Absolutely! If the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted your financial situation, then you can choose to donate your grant funds to the BC3 Foundation to directly support other students in need. We cannot redirect your CAREs grant to this fund, but once you receive the funds, you can support others by making a personal donation. View more information