May is Mental Health Month How are you feeling today? This simple question opens up the conversation about mental health and the support we all need from time to time. During uncertain times – and even during the best of times – life can weigh heavily on each of us. If we talk openly about our mental health, we slowly start to break down the stigma that keeps people from getting the help they need. During Mental Health Month in...
News & Events
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
ASA College, Inc.
Watermark Scholarship for Women in STEM The application period is now open for the Watermark Scholars program! Watermark is offering women in STEM scholarships for the fall 2021 academic term to provide much-needed support for college students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM)-related studies and careers. Two students will be selected from the pool of applicants, and awardees will each receive $5,000 to help continue their education. Please visit https://www.watermarkinsights.com/watermark-scholars to learn more about Watermark Scholars program!
Dr. Harris Provides an Informed Perspective on BLM Yesterday, Dr. Clem Harris engaged the ASA community with a wealth of historical and statistical information that painted a more complete picture of the Black Lives Matter movement as it is situated within a context of systemic racial violence and neglect that extends back decades. Among the topics covered in some detail were the “Stop and Frisk” policies employed by police departments. A historical argument was made that these policies are consistent...