Dear Merritt Community,

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the U.S. Department of Education has made funding available to institutions of higher education to provide direct financial aid relief to students and to offset the costs incurred by colleges and universities as they transition to the fully online learning environments made necessary by COVID-19.
Under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), Merritt College has been allocated a total of $1,497,284. In compliance with the college’s signed Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education and under Section 18004(a)(1), no less than 50 percent of these funds, or $748,642, will be used to provide direct Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Merritt College has disbursed $448,533 to date.

At this time, Merritt College estimates nearly 4,803 students are eligible to receive automatic emergency aid funding under HEERF. To be eligible and in accordance with Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, students must:

  • Complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA Application or the 2019-2020 California Dream Act Application for Merritt College;
  • Enrolled in at least one on-campus course for the Spring 2020 Semester as of March 10, 2020, this date coincides

with the Peralta Community College District decided to move to remote and online programs and
instruction due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be distributed to students who were
enrolled in online-only degree programs prior to March 10, 2020.

Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, Merritt College is utilizing FAFSA data on “Unmet Need” (the
the estimated cost of attendance minus a student’s reported access to the financial resource, per their FAFSA) to determine
eligibility with regard to financial need.

Grant Amounts
Grant amounts for eligible students at Merritt College will range between $150 and $500 with initial awards based on
students’ enrollment status.

Grant amounts and eligibility were determined based on level of need and unit load.  For more information see Merritt Methodology for Disbursing CARES-HEERF grants 050222.

Eligible students may view their CARES Grant award status by logging into Passport, under ‘Student Center,’ in
‘Financial Aid Summary.’ Awards will be disbursed to the Student’s BankMobile account. The total amount of funds will
be disbursed through the end of July.

For additional questions, you may contact the Financial Aid Office at

Dr. Lilia Chavez
Vice President of Student Services


Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF I, II, and III) – Student Aid Portion

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES-HEERF Act Sections 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, 18004(a)(2)