Federal Assistance for Continuing Students

The MICA COVID-19 Emergency Assistance fund (MICA CARES Grant) helps currently enrolled students with extraordinary one-time costs that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maryland Institute College of Art Federal CARES Act Grant Student Funding Report

  1. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Institute College of Art was allocated $1,318,621 million in federal aid, half of which is required to be used for emergency student relief. The remaining half of the grant is to be used to partially offset institutional pandemic-related costs. Maryland Institute College of Art signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education, the required Certification and Agreement. The Agreement assures that the College 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 directly to students.
  2. According to federal guidelines, half of the grant – $659,310.50 – is intended to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
  3. The total amount of funds that Maryland Institute College of Art will receive from the Department: $1,318,621.
  4. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to Maryland Institute College of Art students under Section 18004(a) (1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter): $491,000 has been awarded to 865 students and all eligible students have been notified via e-mail of their award. The College has distributed funds via checks payable directly to the students and mailed to their current mailing address.
  5. Maryland Institute College of Art had an estimated 865 students 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.

·         Eligible Maryland Institute College of Art students will receive varying amounts, with the majority of funds being granted to students who were Pell Grant-eligible. The remaining funds were granted to students who were federal loan only recipients. The methodology used for calculating the grant awards took into account the formula used by the federal government in determining the colleges' total allocation. (1) 75% of the funds will be awarded to Institution of Higher Education (IHE) based on each IHE’s share of full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment of Pell Grant recipients who were not enrolled exclusively in distance education prior to the coronavirus emergency, relative to the total FTE enrollment of such individuals in all IHEs; and (2) 25% of the funds will be awarded to IHEs based on each IHE’s share of FTE enrollment of students who were not Pell Grant recipients and who were not enrolled exclusively in distance education prior to the coronavirus emergency, relative to the total FTE enrollment of such individuals in all IHEs. The first factor primarily allocates funds based on undergraduate enrollment since Pell Grant eligibility is limited to undergraduates and students in post-baccalaureate teacher education programs. The second factor allocates funds based on undergraduate and graduate enrollment. Federal CARES Grant Amount was awarded as such:

·         335 Pell Grant Recipients received checks for $800 ($268,000)

·         420 Undergraduate Federal Loan only Recipients received checks for $400 ($168,000).

·         110 Graduate Federal Loan only Recipients received checks for $500 ($55,000).

·         Percentages of awards: 54.5% awarded to Pell Grant Recipients – 45.4% awarded to non-Pell eligible students.

·         This allocation of the funds distributed a larger percentage to Federal Pell recipients in alignment with the methodology stated above.

6.      Under the guidelines from the federal government, and to determine eligibility, Maryland Institute College of Art considered only students who filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and received federal student aid. Students who did not file the FAFSA in 2019-2020 was not considered. 865 undergraduate and graduate students– will receive grants. Other eligibility requirements to receive funding included a number of items, such as U.S. citizenship, a valid social security number, selective service registration for male students, not having a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, and a high school diploma, or proof of completion. Maryland Institute College of Art took the step to proactively award all eligible students grants considering the need to get funds distributed to students as expeditiously as possible, without requiring applications and presenting barriers to students.

7.      Maryland Institute College of Art has provided a detailed email to all undergraduate and graduate students and a Q & A document. See below.

Dear Students,

I hope this communication finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. The world we share has shifted noticeably in just the past few weeks. Even so, I along with the entire ONE-MICA community are profoundly inspired by your determination, flexibility, and patience as we respond to the complexities and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As lifelong learners - artists and designers shaping the world with creativity and innovation - your ability and willingness to rapidly adapt in this unprecedented time - will be an epic hallmark of your experience here at MICA. More than that, it is a skill you can proudly carry with you throughout your personal lives and professional careers.

On March 27, Congress approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of the $2 trillion stimulus package, about $14 billion was allocated to institutions of higher education. The most significant portion of that funding allocation provides that $12.56 billion will be distributed to institutions using a formula based on student enrollment and Federal Pell Grant recipients.

MICA received the first portion of that funding totaling $$659,311 to disburse to federal student aid eligible undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in on-campus courses in the spring semester.

  • Federal guidance relies heavily on Federal CARES Act grant recipients being eligible to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • To ensure compliance with federal guidance, MICA will disburse grants to all students who completed a FAFSA and received Federal Student Loans and/or Federal Pell Grants
  • CARES grant amounts will be awarded based on students’ demonstrated need reflected on their FAFSA application
  • All undergraduate students will receive the same amount
  • All graduate students will receive the same amount

MICA students enrolled in the spring semester, who did not file a FAFSA, or were ineligible to file will receive a MICA CARES Grant.

  • This fund was created to assist International students and non-FAFSA students with off-setting COVID-19 related expenses and to ensure equitable distribution of funds
  • All undergraduate students will receive the same amount
  • All graduate students will receive the same amount

Federal and MICA CARES emergency grant funds will be mailed to the student's address on file beginning Monday, May 4, 2020. To better assist all students with understanding the eligibility and disbursement of funds, I encourage you to read the attached Q&A document. Please note, you do not have to complete an application for these funds.

MICA is committed to supporting all students in every way possible during these challenging times. We realize the Federal and MICA and CARES emergency grants will not cover all COVID-19 related educational expenses each of you may have encountered. We hope the grants will provide some form of financial relief and assistance affirming our commitment as ONE-MICA in getting through these challenging times.

I am very proud of each of you, and of the unique and compassionate relationship, we all share as members of the MICA Family. For that, I celebrate you all.

 Federal CARES and MICA CARES Emergency Grant Q&A
This document is being provided to address questions you may have. You are encouraged to contact your Financial Aid Counselor for additional questions and answers.

What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the federal government?
• The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Such expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

When will Federal CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?
• MICA applied for funding from the Federal CARES Act and received that funding last week from the U.S. Department of Education. We will begin rapidly distributing grants to students on Monday, May 4, 2020. Please allow ample time for checks to be received.

Who is eligible to receive the Federal CARES Emergency Grant?
• Must be enrolled in the semester for which the student experienced COVID-19 related educational expenses.
• Must be a degree-seeking Undergraduate or Graduate student.
• Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid; see Title IV Eligibility Criteria (Basic Eligibility Criteria for Federal Student Aid).
• Enrollment was impacted by COVID-19 and have expenses incurred for housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare, or childcare.
• Must have submitted 2019-2020 FAFSA for the school year.
• Must not be enrolled in a fully online program.
• Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in an exclusively online degree program on or prior to March 13, 2020.

How will funding amounts be determined for the Federal CARES Emergency Grant?
• Students who met basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid will receive a grant. The Financial Aid Office will use Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility and amount.
• MICA will provide students receiving Pell Grants and who are already defined by the federal government as having exceptional needs with the largest grants.
• MICA will provide students receiving federal loans and who are already defined by the federal government as having lesser exceptional needs with smaller grants.

Are online MICA students eligible for Federal CARES Emergency Grants?
• No based on the guidance from the U.S. Department of Education students enrolled in fully online programs are not eligible for the CARES Act grants.

How do I apply for the Federal CARES Emergency Grant?
• No application is required. Grants will automatically go to students who completed a FAFSA and received federal student aid (federal grant and federal loans).

Who is eligible to receive the MICA CARES Emergency Grant?
• International students and non-FAFSA filers.
• Must be enrolled in the current semester.
• Must not have received a Federal CARES Emergency Grant.

What is the purpose of the MICA CARES Grant?
• To assist students who are ineligible to file a FAFSA and students who did not file a FAFSA. No application is required.

How do I apply for the MICA CARES Emergency Grant?
• No application is needed. Grants will automatically go to students who did not receive or were ineligible for Federal CARES Emergency Grant.

How will funding amounts be determined for the MICA CARES Emergency Grant?
• Amounts will be determined based on the availability of institutional funds.

Can I receive more than one Federal and MICA CARES Emergency Grant?
• It is a one-time award. Funding is not available at this time to provide students with additional grants.

How and when will I receive my MICA CARES Emergency Grant?
• Your grant will be sent via check from Students Accounts Office to the address on file beginning Monday, May 4, 2020. Please allow ample time for checks to be received.  

How can I use the grant?
• These funds are meant to help students pay and offset expenses for technology, health care, child care, course materials, rent, food, moving, or other educational expenses incurred this semester. If you have yet to experience financial stress due to COVID-19, these funds can help with unanticipated expenses or income loss that may occur throughout the summer and into the fall.

If I have a past due balance will my grant be applied towards that?
• No, your grant will be refunded to you, even if you have a past due balance.

What if I need more than what is awarded to me?
• We understand students have significant needs during this time. The Federal and MICA CARES Emergency Grant is limited to the availability of funding. The additional requests will be an application-based process requiring supporting documentation. If you are having financial difficulties, please reach out to your Financial Aid Counselor to discuss other available options.

Who do I contact if I have still questions?
• Please email the Financial Aid Office finaid@mica.edu