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COVID-19

COVID-19 Emergency Grant

The United States Federal Government has enacted the CARES Act as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of this act allows for students to receive financial support for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 (including expenses in a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, technology, healthcare, childcare and course materials). Students enrolled in the classroom (not solely enrolled in an online program prior to the COVID outbreak) may apply for the emergency grant funded through the CARES Act. In addition, a student must be U.S. citizen and eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid, normally supported through filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Application process

  • Notification of the emergency grant was provided to each enrolled student via their student email account on June 2, 2020.
  • Students were asked to complete the Student Application for HEER Funds.
  • The completed application was to be emailed to Financial Aid at hlarndt1@geisinger with the subject line: COVID19 Emergency Grant by June 15, 2020.
  • Your request was reviewed and you will be notified of your award amount by June 19, 2020.

CARES Act FAQ

What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

Geisinger Lewistown Hospital, as an Institute of Higher Education, is eligible to receive Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Funds under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

What are the emergency funds to be used for?

These grant funds are to be used by students to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.)

Who is eligible to receive Funds?

Any student enrolled in the Geisinger Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing as of March 13, 2020 and 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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA 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: 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. If you are unsure of your eligibility status, please contact Harriet Arndt, Student Aid Advisor at the GLH School of Nursing.

How does an eligible student receive funds?

Once you determine your eligibility, please complete the brief application also attached to this email. The application simply asks you to indicate a brief description of the reason of your need for the funds and also your intended uses of the funds. You must sign and date the application and submit it to Harriet Arndt by June 15, 2020 to be eligible. You sign the application electronically and submit it via email to Harriet at hlarndt1@geisinger.edu or print, complete, sign and mail it to Harriet at GLH SON Attn: Harriet Arndt 426 Maple Avenue, Lewistown, PA 17044. Please note that applications must be postmarked by June 15 if you mail it.

When will I receive the funds?

Once all applications are submitted, after June 15, Financial Aid will determine the amount awarded to each student. All eligible students who have applied will receive an equal portion of the funds available to be distributed by the GLH SON. Funds will be issued to students by the end of June.

How will I receive the funds?

Funds will be issued to eligible students who have applied using the process outlined above in the form of a regular check mailed to the address of record on your student account at the date the amount of funds are awarded.

Are these funds taxable?

No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income. Because the emergency financial aid grant is not includible in your gross income, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. See section 139(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.

What if I have other questions?

Additional information regarding the HEERF can be found here.

If you have any questions, contact the Financial Aid Office at hlarndt1@geisinger.edu.

Information for the FAQs section was made available from Department of Education, Geisinger Lewistown School of Nursing and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

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