Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Updated

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) continue to monitor a novel strain of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. On Feb. 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19.

Brenau University officials are proactively working with local and state public health organizations to monitor this concern and to protect the health and well-being of the Brenau community. This resource page will continue to be updated as new or relevant information emerges.

Contact Brenau University Nurse Practitioner Sarah Davis at sdavis8@brenau.edu with health-related questions or concerns.

Sign up for Brenau’s E2Campus alert system to stay up to date on this and other important campus notifications by text, phone or email.

CARES Act Information

The recently enacted CARES Act created Emergency Relief Funds for some college students who experienced a disruption in on-campus instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brenau has been designated to receive a limited amount of these funds to distribute to students. Eligibility requirements were set by the U.S. government to identify which students may receive these grants. The requirements are that students 1) were enrolled in on-ground classes on March 13, 2020, 2) have a valid FAFSA on file that confirms they are a U.S. citizen or an eligible permanent resident, and 3) experienced some level of additional costs associated with changing from on-campus to online programs.

Brenau has reviewed all spring semester registration records to determine which students meet the eligibility requirements for this grant. An email containing an electronic grant application will be sent to all eligible students by midnight on May 20. Eligible students will be asked to respond to the notification by completing the application as soon as possible but no later than Friday, May 29, 2020.

Once applications are received and processed, recipients will be notified of the grant amount to expect and funds will be forwarded to them using the preference students have selected with BankMobile.

For more information, contact Pam Barrett, associate vice president and director of Financial Aid, at 770-534-6152 or financialaid@brenau.edu.

Will Students Receive CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds?

Brenau has reviewed all spring semester registration records to determine which students meet the eligibility requirements for this grant. An email containing an electronic grant application will be sent to all eligible students by midnight on May 20. Eligible students will be asked to respond to the notification by completing the application as soon as possible but no later than Friday, May 29, 2020.

Once applications are received and processed, recipients will be notified of the grant amount to expect and funds will be forwarded to them using the preference students have selected with BankMobile.

Eligibility requirements were set by the US government to identify which students may receive these grants. The requirements are that students:

  1. were enrolled in on-ground classes on March 13, 2020,
  2. have a valid FAFSA on file that confirms they are a US citizen or eligible permanent resident,
  3. experienced some level of additional costs associated with changing from on-campus to online programs.

Further CARES Act information

  1. Brenau submitted a signed Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020 , indicating intent to use no less than 50% of funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.
  2. Brenau received a total of $1,283,197 from the CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1), of which $641,599 was allocated for emergency financial aid grants to students. The remaining $641,598 Institutional Portion was used to reimburse students for Room and Board due to the disruption of the Spring 2020 semester. Additionally, Brenau received $62,924 under Section 18004(a)(2) “Strengthening Institutions Program” of the CARES act. This grant was used to purchase Personal Protective Equipment for the safe return of students to campus. View the required Final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting related to the Institutional portion and Strengthening Institutions Program grants (PDF).
  3. On May 20, 2020, an email notification was sent to 1093 eligible Brenau students who met the following criteria:
    • Met basic qualifications for Federal Student Aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965;
    • Confirmed U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen status by existence of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that cleared all applicable citizenship matches (international students and those falling under DACA not eligible); and
    • Enrolled in on-ground instruction for spring semester 2020 as of March 13, 2020, the COVOD-19 National Emergency declaration date (student enrolled exclusively in online instruction not eligible).

    Students were invited to complete a simple online application, attesting to having incurred expenses (yes or no) associated with the COVID-19 disruption of campus-based instruction, and selecting from a list of possible types of expenses incurred (no amounts requested). Application deadline: May 29,2020.

  4. All students who submitted “yes” responses were divided into 5 separate groups according to Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA, with funds being allocated in a way that provided the highest grant amounts to students with the lowest EFCs.
  5. A total of$641,599.81 in CARES Act emergency financial aid grants was distributed as refunds to 746 eligible students on June 12, 2020.

Updated

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)
Authorized by Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Dec. 27, 2020

Brenau received a total of $2,507,744 from the CRRSAA Section 18004(a)(1), of which $641,599 was allocated for emergency financial aid grants to students. The remaining $1,866,145 Institutional Portion was used to replace lost revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Brenau received $101,309 under Section 18004(a)(2) “Strengthening Institutions Program” of the CRRSAA. This grant was also used to recover lost revenue. View the required HEERF II Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting related to the Institutional portion and Strengthening Institutions Program grants (PDF).

Student Grant Amount: $641,599

Eligible Uses of Funds:

  • Any component of a student’s cost of attendance;
  • May be used for current and past charges, but students not required to authorize that usage.

Student Eligibility Criteria (Statutory):

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident (International, undocumented, and those falling under DACA not eligible);Demonstrates exceptional financial need

Brenau-Determined Eligibility Criteria:

  • Student is enrolled in a undergraduate or graduate degree program as of the end of the initial spring semester 2021 drop/add period;
  • Student has 2020-21 (or prior/subsequent year) FAFSA on file for 2020-21 with U.S. citizenship or eligible permanent resident status confirmed by a data match with the Social Security Administration and/or Department of Homeland Security, or has provided acceptable documents to resolve a citizenship issue identified on the FAFSA; and
  • Student exhibits exceptional financial need as demonstrated by an expected family contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA ranging from $0 to $5711 (Pell Grant eligibility range).

Students Eliminated from Consideration:

  • Student received tuition waiver as an employee or dependent, or as a result of a tuition exchange agreement;
  • Student enrolled exclusively in session 2 classes, with no previous Brenau enrollment;
  • Student’s grants and scholarships from all sources covered Brenau charges;
  • Student’s FAFSA was incomplete with no EFC generated.

Student Communication Strategy:

  • Grant announcement emailed to 1382 eligible students Feb. 15, 2021 from Financial Aid Office;
  • Sent to both “tiger” email and additional email in student’s permanent file;
  • Basic eligibility requirements listed;
  • Link provided to brief Formstack grant “application” for students to confirm student’s desire to receive funds and communicate usage preference (refund directly to student or apply to existing unpaid charges);
  • Application deadline of 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26 communicated.
  • Reminder email sent to 323 students who had not submitted an application as of Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Student Response:

  • 1215 eligible students (88%) submitted applications to request funds;
  • Several ineligible students obtained grant email/application from other students, and submitted, after which they were sent an email to reiterate grant eligibility criteria and why they were not invited to apply.

Grant Allocation Strategy/Timing:

  • Applicants divided into 2 award groups based on spring 2021 enrolled credit hours:
    • 1-6 hours – $380.88;
    • 7+ hours – $571.33;
  • Total awarded – $641,601.75
  • Student grant amounts communicated via individual emails from Vice President for Financial Services Tuesday, March 2;
  • Grants posted to students’ accounts Monday, March 8;
  • Refunds to students (where applicable) released Wednesday, March 10.

Updated

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III)
Authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) March 11, 2021

Brenau was allocated a total of $4,479,253 from the ARP Section 18004(a)(1), of which $2,452,615 was allocated for emergency financial aid grants to students. The remaining $2,026,638 Institutional Portion was allocated to replace lost revenue or pay for other direct costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Brenau was allocated $190,153 under Section 18004(a)(2) “Strengthening Institutions Program” of the ARP, which can be used for the same purposes as the Institutional portion of Section 18004(a)(1) grants.

View the required Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting related to the Institutional portion and Strengthening Institutions Program grants (PDF).

Student Grant Amount: $2,452,515

Number of Students Who Received Emergency Grants As of 9/30/2021: 1,167
Student Emergency Grant Funds Distributed As of 9/30/2021: $1,225,350

Eligible Uses of Funds:

  • Any component of a student’s cost of attendance
  • Emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as: tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental), childcare

Student Eligibility Criteria (Statutory):

  • Enrolled at an eligible institution on or after the date of the COVID-19 national emergency declaration
  • Demonstrates exceptional financial need

Brenau-Determined Eligibility Criteria:

  • Enrolled in a undergraduate or graduate degree program following the initial drop period for fall semester 2021 (enrolled students captured on 9/13/2021);
  • Has a 2021-22 FAFSA on file with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated; and
  • Exhibits exceptional financial need as demonstrated by an EFC ranging from $0 to $5846 (Pell Grant eligibility range, but student not required to qualify for Pell).

Students Eliminated from Consideration:

  • Enrolled exclusively in fall semester session 2 classes (will have an opportunity to receive grant funding later in the fall semester)
  • Withdrew from all fall semester classes prior to grant notification being deployed to eligible students

Student Communication Strategy:

  • Grant announcement emailed from Financial Aid Office to 1341 eligible students on Sept. 14, 2021
  • Sent to Brenau “tiger” email address and to additional email address in student’s permanent file
  • Basic eligibility requirements listed
  • Provided link to brief Formstack grant “application” for students to confirm desire to receive funds and communicate usage preference (refund directly to student or apply to unpaid fall semester charges)
  • Established application deadline of 5:00 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24, 2021
  • Reminder emails sent on September 21, 2021 and again on Sept. 23, 2021 to all eligible students who had not submitted an application

Student Response:

  • 1167 eligible students (87%) submitted applications to request funds
  • 5 ineligible students obtained grant email/application from other students, and submitted, after which an email was sent from Financial Aid to reiterate grant eligibility criteria and to remind them of the ability to submit a request for a professional judgment review associated with family income reduction or other special circumstances

Grant Allocation Strategy/Timing:

  • Each applicant received $1,050, for a total amount of $1,225,350 disbursed
  • Grants posted to student accounts September 27, 2021, with refunds issued immediately to students who requested direct disbursement of funds

Updated

Counseling & Support Services

This is a stressful time. We understand some Brenau community members may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation, and you may have concerns about friends and family living in areas currently experiencing the outbreak. Students are encouraged to contact any or all of the following resources:

Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

The Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (BCCPS), with campus locations both in Gainesville and North Atlanta (see below), provides the following services to Brenau students, staff, faculty, and alums as well as individuals in the community:

  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Couples counseling
  • Child counseling
  • Psychological assessment and testing for all ages
  • Stress management
  • Group therapy

Learn more about the BCCPS on their webpage.

Mental Health Resources

Brenau is a strong and caring community. With the help of all, we will navigate these days together.

Updated