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Dear ASA Students

I hope you and your family are healthy, safe, and well.

Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on higher education. We have become a locked-down society. As a result, we are experiencing a sea of change in the way we do business: (a) Traditional classes have moved online; (b) Graduation ceremonies are canceled; (c) Executives, faculty, and staff are working from home when just a month ago we were working in an office. It is safe to say that none of us has ever experienced anything close to this crisis.

Over the last few weeks, Congress has developed a number of stimulus packages in an effort to provide relief to hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27th, 2020.

The CARES Act established and funded the Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Under HEERF, ASA College will receive about $6.2 million, of which $3.1 million must be distributed directly to students. The remaining $3.1 million is for the institution to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

The US Department of Education (USDOE) has mandated the student funds ($3.1 million) to be disbursed only to students 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). 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. It is important to specify that HEERF specify that students enrolled exclusively in a distance education program are NOT eligible for the emergency financial aid grant. Congress’ intention was to provide aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Students, who were enrolled exclusively in online programs, would not have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Congress also excluded DACA and International students.

We are still waiting for further guidance or clarifications as to the criteria to participate in this program and the methods to be used to determine the amount each student should receive. We expect these funds to be distributed in the first or second week of May 2020.

 

Jose F. Valencia, CPA

President
ASA College, Inc.

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