CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

The CARES Act is federal legislation, which provides a variety of financial supports to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) which allows FLCC to provide emergency financial aid grants to students who are experiencing financial hardship from additional expenses due to the coronavirus.


Spring 2020 enrolled students who have filed the 2019-20 FAFSA or a 20-21 FAFSA , and meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need are considered for these funds. Students were placed in high, medium, and low need categories based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) ranges:

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Need Category
$0-5,576 High Need
$5,577-10,728 Medium Need
$10,730 and above Low Need
  • Priority for funding will go to the highest need students with the lowest EFC first, as instructed by federal and SUNY regulations.
    • Based on students' EFC ranges, the following amounts will be allocated to full-time students. The amounts were derived from a calculation of 82% of the total award allocation, divided by the number of students eligible, with the highest amount given to students who fall into the highest need category, based on EFC.
      • $800.00 high need students
      • $600.00 medium need students
      • $400.00 low need students
  • Residents of the Suites at Laker Landing, or presumed off-campus residents not living in the Suites (based on county of home residence), will receive an extra $200.00 to cover expenses incurred with travel back and forth to campus as the COVID-19 emergency unfolded.
  • The need-based award ranges above were multiplied by a factor determined by their face-to-face credits hours, as follows:
    • Full-time students: x 1 (12 or more credits)
    • Three-quarter time students: x .75 (7 - 11 credits)
    • Half-time students : x .5 (6 credits)

The CARES Act does not allow these funds to be disbursed to students who were enrolled in designated online degree programs prior to March 13, 2020, international students, or DACA students.

How to Apply

Eligible students will receive an e-mail to the student's FLCC e-mail account with information on how to apply for these funds. This e-mail will be sent by the end of business June 5, 2020.

The e-mail communication will explain the emergency funding: what it can be used for, the offered amount based on the student's need category, number of enrolled courses, and housing status. This communication includes a link to the application. The e-mail also discusses the application instructions. A response to the question concerning options (accept the amount as offered, accept the amount and request additional funding, or decline any need for the award) is required.

Students must complete the application by 11:59PM on July 6, 2020. If students miss the deadline of July 6, 2020, they would still be eligible for their allotment, if funding was not expended when they complete the form.

Allowable Expenses

Expenses can include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and/or child care.


You do not have to repay a Federal Emergency Aid Grant. The Federal CARES Act Emergency Grant funds are designed to be a grant (otherwise called gift aid) and is not a loan.

Impact on Existing Financial Aid Plans

This funding will not reduce your financial aid. It does not negate nor replace financial aid.

Finger Lakes Community College acknowledges an authorized representative of the institution has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the institution 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 to students.

Finger Lakes Community College has received or will receive $1,327,864 from the Department of Education pursuant to the Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Finger Lakes Community College has distributed $910,691, under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of September 30, 2020.

Finger Lakes Community College has determined approximately 2,291 students at the institution are 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.

1,530 students have currently received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of September 30, 2020.

Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, students may receive awards ranging from $100 to $6,195.

Contact Us

Financial Aid Office
Room 1145
(585) 785-1276
(585) 394-0635

Mon-Thu: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fri: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Walk Ins Welcome.

Federal College code: 007532
State College code: 2256

Websites & Contacts