Student Emergency Aid

Student Emergency Aid


The Alamo Colleges District and its family of colleges—Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, St. Philip’s College and San Antonio College—have, like everyone around the globe, been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has caused the district and colleges to make some difficult decisions to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Learn More About Our Operational Changes

However, even in these unprecedented times, the district’s mission is unchanged: to remain focused on student success and access, putting students first and empowering the community.

To support our students through this crisis, Alamo Colleges District has established Student Emergency Aid to provide emergency resources for students who need temporary assistance.

This overarching program of financial relief for students is made up of several different funds including:

Federal Emergency Aid

Eligible Expenses
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In order to assist all students who are eligible to receive funds under the various federal emergency aid packages provided to us, the Alamo College District leadership made the decision on March 22, 2021, to act and provide a one-time payment of $600 to all Pell-eligible students who were enrolled at the time.

Eligible students who do not receive aid under this first distribution of one-time payments can submit an application for Federal Emergency Aid as outlined below.

Allocations to each individual college for student emergency aid were determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Grants under all federal aid programs are based on emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus. The funding is not tied to existing financial aid programs such as Pell Grants and can be used by students for any component of the cost of attendance at the colleges.

Student eligibility requirements for all Federal Emergency Aid are based on guidance and criteria provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Student Aid Icons

 

To be eligible for Federal Emergency Aid students must:

  • Complete and submit a 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and/or 2021-2022 FAFSA, whichever is applicable to your request, if one is not already on file

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

  • Be or have been enrolled full or part-time in the semester for which you are requesting funds

  • Have a high school diploma or GED

 

How to Apply for Cares Emergency Relief Funds

The Federal Emergency Assistance Application will be available starting Thursday, April 8.

Follow these steps:

  • Log into the ACES portal using your Username and Password
  • Select the ‘Student’ option from the sidebar menu
  • Select the ‘Web Services’ link
  • Select the ‘Financial Aid’ tab
  • Click on ‘Federal Emergency Assistance Application’ from the list of options
  • This will open a DocuSign page.
  • Enter your ‘Name’ and ‘Email’ in the required fields and click ‘Begin Signing’.
  • This will initiate an email to be sent to the address you entered. The email will contain the link to the application.

 

Federal Emergency Aid FAQs

What are the Federal Emergency Aid Funds?

The Alamo Colleges has received federal emergency funding for students from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act and the CRRSAA.

Both the CARES and CRRSAA allocations will help Alamo Colleges’ students deal with the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 crisis and assist with the costs of attending college.

How do I qualify for Federal Emergency Aid?

Based on the guidance and criteria provided by the US Department of Education, full or part-time students can apply. This includes those enrolled in academic courses, credit or no-credit bearing courses, dual enrollment courses, or continuing education courses.

Please see the eligibility section above for more details.

Who is an eligible non-citizen?
  • A U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
  • A U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card)

If you’re not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S.  Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:

  • “Refugee”
  • “Asylum Granted”
  • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending”
  • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
  • “Parolee” (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year, and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)

If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you’re not eligible for federal student financial aid.

If you’re in the United States on certain visas, including an F1 or F2 student visa, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, you’re not eligible for federal student financial aid.

Also, people with G series visas (pertaining to international organizations) are not eligible for federal student financial aid. For more information about other types of visas that are not acceptable, check with the Financial Aid Office.

What are eligible expenses?

Expenses need to be emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus or assist you with any cost of attendance at college. Here are some examples:

  • If a student needs a laptop because the college moved to online courses, that would be an allowable expense.
  • If a student purchased a computer, laptop or another device to connect to online courses and now is unable to pay rent, purchase food or provide other essential needs for themselves, those would be eligible expenses.
  • If a student has an outstanding balance with the college and chose to use their aid to pay-off that cost or to pay towards future or current tuition, those would be allowable expenses.

Funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, tuition, fees, or child care.

How do I apply for the Federal Emergency Aid Funds?
  • Log into the ACES portal using your Username and Password
  • Select the ‘Student’ option from the sidebar menu
  • Select the ‘Web Services’ link
  • Select the ‘Financial Aid’ tab
  • Click on ‘Federal Emergency Assistance Application’ from the list of options
  • This will open a DocuSign page.
  • Enter your ‘Name’ and ‘Email’ in the required fields and click ‘Begin Signing’.
  • This will initiate an email to be sent to the address you entered. The email will contain the link to the application.
When will I know the results?

The Alamo Colleges will work diligently to award emergency grants as soon as possible after receipt of a student’s application.

How will I be notified?

The status of your application and any amount awarded will be available in your ACES student portal. Please allow up to 2 weeks for your application to be processed.

Can I choose how I get my grant funds?

If awarded a grant it, it can be processed as a refund to you based on your selection in ECSI.

Grants can be processed as:

  • Direct deposit to your existing bank account on file with ECSI, or
  • If not signed up for direct deposit, a check will be mailed to your current address on file in ACES.

A grant can also be used towards paying current or future tuition or unpaid balances at the college.

For more information on refund options, visit the ECSI's website or phone toll-free at 1-844-760-6052.

What are the grant amounts?

Awarding of grant funds will be made on a case-by-case basis. Several factors will be considered in awarding grants.

The amount of a grant will be determined based on the number of applications received, availability of funds, and the specific needs presented in the application.

Alamo Colleges cannot guarantee that all applicants will be selected for funding or that they will receive the full amount of their request.

What if I owe Alamo Colleges for tuition or other expenses and fees?

Under the CRRSAA a student can affirmatively elect to use their student emergency aid towards payment of any unpaid balances owed to the Alamo Colleges.

Will a CARES Act emergency grant negatively affect my financial aid for this year or next year?

No. This grant will not be used in calculating your current or future financial aid awards.

Are there other grants available if I don’t qualify under the CARES Act?

If a student doesn’t qualify for CARES Act Emergency Aid, they may qualify for other aid, including the COVID-19 Student Impact Aid Fund and assistance from the colleges’ Advocacy Centers.

To apply for other available emergency assistance please contact the Student Advocacy Center at the Alamo Colleges Helpline, 210-486-1111.

Operating Hours for the Helpline are:

• Monday: 8:00AM- 7:00PM
• Tuesday: 8:00AM- 7:00PM
• Wednesday: 8:00AM- 7:00PM
• Thursday: 8:00AM- 7:00PM
• Friday: 8:00AM- 5:00PM
• 1st Saturday of the month: 9:00AM- 1:00PM

What other strategies can help me stay in school?

The Expanded Summer Momentum Program offers eligible students with a GPA of 2.0 as of May 21 enrolled in the Spring 2021 term FREE academic credit hours.

Students who are currently enrolled in the Spring 2021 term may be eligible as long as he or she has a GPA of 2.0 or better as of May 21, 2021. Additional criteria include: 

  • Spring first-time in college students are eligible for 3 FREE academic credit hours this summer.
  • Part-time students enrolled in up to 11 credit hours for the Spring 2021 semester, who also enrolled in Fall 2020, can earn up to 6 FREE academic credit hours this summer.
  • Full-time students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours for the Spring 2021 semester, who also enrolled in Fall 2020, can earn up to 9 FREE academic credit hours this summer.

View a full list of criteria at alamo.edu/esmp.

Eligible students may attend any of the five colleges in the Alamo Colleges District. Students are encouraged to take hours within their program plans. 

The Expanded Summer Momentum Plan is a last-dollar scholarship in most cases that will cover tuition after all other financial aid resources have been awarded. Financial aid resources include grants, scholarships and aid for military families.

What if a Student Doesn't Meet the Qualifications Listed for the Federal Emergency Aid?

If a student doesn’t meet the qualifications for federal emergency aid, the student may qualify for other emergency aid:

Additional Assistance:

Student Impact Fund & Advocacy Centers

To apply for other available emergency aid, please contact one of the colleges’ Student Advocacy Centers through the Alamo Colleges Advocacy Helpline at 210-486-1111.

Operating Hours for the Advocacy Helpline

Monday – Thursday:

8:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.

Friday: 

8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

1st Saturday of the month: 

9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.