INFORMATION ALERT: Stay informed about coronavirus – COVID-19. Face-to-face courses will be suspended through the remainder of the Spring semester and are moving to remote instruction. The College is open, but the on-campus student services are being offered remotely, or by appointment. We ask you to call or email if you plan to visit the campus. Please use the Resources for Students page for updated info.

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What is the CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to award emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, and who are facing financial challenges.

CARES Act emergency funds may be provided for those students that switched from face-to-face to remote learning. Examples include having to buy a computer, buying or upgrading internet access, or increased food and/or utility costs from being home, medical expenses related to COVID-19 testing/treatment, childcare, housing, and other expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions.   

If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to 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. 

Contact Us

Please contact the Student Financial Services team at finaid@berkshirecc.edu
(413) 236-1644
or via Zoom

Monday – Friday from 8:00 am- 4:00 pm

Application to apply

Please be advised that the web browser Internet Explorer is not compatible with this software, please utilize Chrome, Firefox or an Apple browser such as Safari to complete your application.

  • Who is eligible for CARES Act funds?

     

    • Applicants who has completed a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Applicant must be a student that switched from face-to-face to remote learning for the Spring 2020 semester and/or is enrolled in a course for the Summer 2020 and/or Fall 2020 that was switched to remote learning.
    • Applicants must be students who are/were enrolled in a degree or certificate program at BCC for the Spring 2020 and/or Fall 2020 semester.
    • Applicants must have enrollment for Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and/or Fall 2020.  
    • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens. Undocumented students and international students are not eligible. However, these students may still apply for BCC Foundation emergency aid. Aid received by eligible undocumented students and international students is provided through the BCC Foundation’s emergency funding program and not from the CARES Act funding.
    • Applicants must have a high school diploma, GED, or have completed high school in an approved homeschool setting.
    • Applicants must be meeting satisfactory academic standing.
    • Male students must be registered with Selective Service.
    • The following BCC students are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Funding: International students, Early College students, Gateway to College students, any other dual enrollment students, any student taking courses towards a high school degree, and those students who are not enrolled in a degree or eligible certificate program.
    • During the application process through the BCC Foundations Scholarship application, applicants must provide an explanation of expenses related to the disruption of BCC operations and face-to-face classroom instruction due to COVID-19. Documentation is required, applicants will need to upload copies of eligible expenses.  
  • If you do not qualify for the CARES Act funding are there additional funds available?

    Yes, the BCC Foundation has limited funds available from the emergency funding program and/or you may qualify for other institutional aid programs. Students must meet the following criteria:

    • Applicants must be students who are/were enrolled in a degree or certificate program at BCC for the Spring 2020 and/or Fall 2020 semester.
    • Applicants must have enrollment for Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and/or Fall 2020. 
    • Applicants must have a high school diploma, GED, or have completed high school in an approved homeschool setting.
    • Applicants must be meeting satisfactory academic standing.
    • During the application process through the BCC Foundations Scholarship application, applicants must provide an explanation of expenses related to the disruption of BCC operations and face-to-face classroom instruction due to COVID-19. Documentation is required, applicants will need to upload copies of eligible expenses. 

     

How to Apply to the BCC emergency funding program

Students must complete the BCC Foundation emergency funding application.

  • Step by Step Process on completing the BCC Foundation emergency funding application
    1. Click the link to log-in. Then on the log-in screen (shown below) enter your BCC student id and MyBCC password to access the application. (If you do not know your MyBCC password you will need to reset it here.
      mybcc student id
    1. Once logged in you will see the “General Application” screen. Fill in your name and other questions as requested, if you have recently applied for Foundation scholarships you will only need to update your enrollment plan to include a request for emergency funding. New applicants will need to request a copy of their transcript and must receive a recommendation as detailed on the funding application.
    1. All applicants need to answer the question “Please check your enrollment plan (choose one):” by clicking the checkbox for emergency funding as shown below.
      check enrollment
    2. At any time after selecting your enrollment type you may click “Save and Keep Editing” on the bottom right of your screen, this will allow you to access the emergency funding questions you need to complete in addition to those on the general application screen.
      save and edit
    3. Students must complete both the General Application and Emergency Funding Application to be considered for aid. To access the emergency funding application questions please click the bubble for emergency funding on the left side of the application as shown below.
      app process
    1. Students will need to provide in detail their need for an emergency grant and should be prepared to upload documentation of these needs. Documentation may include proof you have been laid off from your job, copies of rent, mortgage, utility, childcare costs, medical bills related to COVID-19 testing and treatment or other items relevant to your request. Students may upload both pdf and image files as directed.  In cases where a paper bill is not available a screen shot of your online bill may be substituted as proof of your expense(s).   
      please describe
    1. At any time, you may save click “save and keep editing” to pause the application process. When you are ready you will log back in using the steps above to access and complete your application. Once you feel your application is complete please click “Finish and Submit” on the bottom right of your screen to submit your application for review.
      save

    Requests will be reviewed within seven to ten business days from their completed submission. Awarding of funds will be made on a case-by-case basis, “first-come, first served” to BCC students who meet the criteria stated above. Students semester credit hours are an important part of the grant calculation. Additional information will be communicated via your BCC student email. Funding will be disbursed by check and mailed to the address on file with the College. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What type of expenses are allowable under the CARES Act or BCC Foundation emergency funding? 

    • If a student needed a laptop because the college moved to remote learning courses.
    • If a student's monthly utility bill has increased because the college moved to remote learning courses.
    • If a student needed to add or enhance their internet service in order to participate in remote learning courses.
    • If a student was relying on SNAP food vouchers or the college's Campus Cupboard. 
    • If a student has medical expenses related to COVID-19 testing and/or treatment.
    • If student has childcare expenses related to educational attendance.
    • If the student is unable to pay for utility and/or housing as a result of unemployment or underemployment as a result of COVID-19.
    • Other COVID-19 related expense.

    How much funding will I receive from the CARES Act?

    Awards will be based on eligibility and the number of credit hours a student is enrolled in during the current semester. Students can re-apply for funding each semester (if they continue to face the same or similar hardships) for the duration of the program. BCC has a limited amount of funding and we appreciate students only asking for the amount needed so we can serve as many students affected by the coronavirus as possible.

    Am I required to repay the funds I receive?

    No, the funds received through this program are emergency grant funds and do not need have to be repaid.

    Will this funding reduce or change my financial aid award with BCC?

    No, this fund does not reduce or change my financial aid award with BCC. It is a grant to help students adversely affected by the coronavirus.

    Can I apply for funding for more than one semester?

    Yes, students can apply each semester if they continue to experience the same hardships and BCC has remaining funding. Priority will be given to students asking for funding for the first time as we progress through the Summer and Fall semesters. The program is scheduled to run for Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and Fall 2020, or until funds are exhausted.

    Are there deadlines to obtain CARES Act funding?

    There are no deadlines to apply, please be aware of the criteria to receive the funding and please understand that the funding is limited to what was awarded to BCC under the CARES Act.

    What additional resources are available to me if I need access to food and other services, for example internet services, at a reduced cost?  

    Please visit the BCC COVID-19 Resources Page for more details. The College has been supporting students for a number of years with emergency grant funds and other related services that have all been gathered on this page. We encourage all students to review the community resources available to support their enrollment.

     

CARES Act Disclosures 

Mandated disclosures and updated reports about BCC's utilization of CARES Act funds can be found in the Public Records and Disclosures section of this website.

Contact Us

Please contact the Student Financial Services team at finaid@berkshirecc.edu, (413) 236-1644, or via Zoom

Monday – Friday from 8:00 am- 4:00 pm

Application to apply

Please be advised that the web browser Internet Explorer is not compatible with this software, please utilize Chrome, Firefox or an Apple browser such as Safari to complete your application.