BAMA CARES Fund for COVID-19 Relief

What is BAMA CARES?

The BAMA CARES Fund offers emergency grants for BAMA students experiencing financial hardships directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of our campus. The Funding is made possible through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) authorized by the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Our Financial Aid Office will distribute grants based on three shared BAMA principles: Student Success, Equity and Timeliness, and Administrative Simplicity.

Higher Education Relief Fund Results

Bay Area Medical Academy received $111,169 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students pursuant to signing the required Certification and Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education. The allocation has been awarded and disbursed to 67 eligible students as of June 15, 2020. A total of 67 eligible students received emergency grants through this program totaling $108,450. The method used by Bay Area Medical Academy to determine which students received awards and the instructions for students follow.

Who is Eligible?

All currently enrolled Bay Area Medical Academy students enrolled in Title IV Programs as of March 13, 2020 (date of legislation) and the time of our transition to online instruction (SIP Order on March 16, 2020), who are eligible to receive federal financial aid, may be considered for emergency grants funded by HEERF. Even if students have current financial holds or owe the campus fees or fines, they are still eligible for this program.

The main criteria for the grant is completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are eligible to file a FAFSA, but have not yet filed for 2019-20 and need assistance, please file a FAFSA at studentaid.gov. Additionally, students will have to have had the verification process of the FAFSA completed, if selected for verification, and have zero General Title IV eligibility flags.

What Are the Types of Expenses Covered by Cares Act Funding?

The BAMA CARES emergency  grants are designed to assist with expense related to the distribution of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as course materials, technology, healthcare, child care, as well as housing and food.

What If I Haven’t Submitted a FAFSA for 2019-2020?

Students may still be eligible for CARES Act funding by must submit a FAFSA application. We recommend these students apply for the BAMA CARES Program funding and fill out a FAFSA application as soon as possible; the FAFSA Application takes the Department of Education 48-72 hours to process.

How Did BAMA Develop Eligibility Criteria? 

Bay Area Medical Academy followed guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional Information on BAMA CARES Act/HEERF Funds

The BAMA CARES Act Releif Funds are not considered taxable income and will not impact your financial aid. More guidance from the IRS on that topic is available at IRS CARES Act FAQs.

The CARES Act Relief Funds are not intended to be applied to your tuition balance. You will receive the funds regardless of having a balance. You determine how to use your funds. Examples of expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Books an supplies needed for online course(s) completion
  • Technology needs for online course delivery (Internet, data plan etc.)
  • Unexpected medical expenses
  • Expenses related to moving, rent, or other housing needs
  • Child care

How Will Cares Act/HEERF Grant Amounts Be Determined at Bay Area Medical Academy?

Grant amounts will be based on each student’s documented financial need based on their FAFSA application and in proportion to the financial difficulty faced as a result of COVID-19. To be eligible for HEERF funds, students must have filed a FAFSA and have been deemed eligible to receive Federal Aid finds by the U.S. Department of Education and the campus financial aid office by June 1st, 2020. Eligible students are then divided into two categories:

Group 1

Students with the low-income who received maximum state and/or federal aid. Students with an official expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 to $8,000 have been placed in this group. Once they apply, Group 1 students will receive an automatic grant award of $1,000 if enrolled full-time. Students in Group 1 may also apply for additional funds of $250 to $1,000 based on the financial difficulty faced as a result of COVID-19.

Group 2

Eligible students without regard to prior federal aid received. Students with an official expected family contribution (EFC) greater than $8,000 have been placed in this group. Students in Group 2 may apply for funds of $250 to $1,000 explaining the financial difficulty faced as a result of COVID-19.

How Can I Apply for BAMA CARES Act Funds?

Students who are eligible for federal student aid (Groups 1 and 2 above) can apply for the BAMA CARES Act funds though a simple application process using the following application form. Grant applications must be received by June 30th, 2020. Automatic awards of $1,000 and additional awards of $250 to $1,000 will be made based on the COVID-19 related expenses incurred.

Students will be asked to describe the expenses related to the distribution of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic for which they are seeking support. These may include items such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. They must also briefly describe any financial hardship they are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who have questions about the application process should contact the Financial Aid Office on 415-217-0077.

How Long Will It Take to Receive the BAMA CARES Act/HEERF Funds?

We know these are times of great need.  We are working very hard to disburse eligible students’ awards as quickly as possible. Our goal is to disburse funds 10 days after receipt of the student’s BAMA CARES Funds Application Form. Funds will be issued in the form of a check.