Frequently Asked Questions
Our priority is your safety and well being. Until further notice, the university campus will be closed to the public. Our team is working remotely and is available to answer your questions.
Below, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that have recently developed related to the COVID-19 outbreak to help you navigate financial aid information during this time.
How do I get in contact with the Financial Aid Office?
We are collecting scanned and encrypted documents via email and we continue to meet with students and families through video conferencing. Please call 714.966.5490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
What happens to my financial aid if I move out of campus housing for spring 2020 and move home with my family?
For spring 2020, we will not adjust your financial aid should you move home. We assume that you will use the same level of funds for rent/food for the spring term given unusual expenses, like moving expenses, and given the general disruption caused by the response to COVID-19. However, you will want to review the amount you are borrowing and if you can borrow less, email us with the amount you want to decrease your student and/or parent loan. It is a good idea to only borrow what you need. In future terms, you will need to report to us if your housing plans change.
How would a change to pass-fail grades impact my scholarship renewal and/or my GPA?
The university has updated our policies to allow for some flexibility with grading during the spring 2020 semester. If you received a pass/fail grade, passing credits will count toward the overall cumulative unit requirement needed for the renewal of your financial aid and scholarship. However, pass/fail grades will not impact your GPA this semester. You can review the terms and conditions of your scholarship to see all the qualifying units that will count towards your renewal requirements. If you have any questions regarding how switching your courses to pass/fail will impact your overall career progression and GPA, please contact your Academic Advisor. For more information on updated academic policies, visit the Registrar's website.
Can I file a financial aid appeal if my family is now experiencing a financial hardship due to loss of income as a result of COVID-19?
If your 2020 income will be drastically lower than the income reported on the 2019/20 or 2020/21 FAFSA, please contact our office at 714.966.5490 or email@example.com for more information, including how to file an appeal.
I am a student who received an emergency financial aid grant under section 3504, 18004, or 18008 of the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Is this grant includible in my gross income?
No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expeneses for food, housing, course materials, technology, helath care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.
I received an emergency financial aid grant under the CARES Act and used some of it to pay for course materials that are now required for online learning because my college or university campus is closed. Can I claim a tuition and fees deduction for the cost of these materials, or treat the cost of these materials as a qualifying education expense for purposes of claiming the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit?
No. Because the emergency financial aid grant is not includible in your gross income, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. See section 139(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.
What students are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
Only 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), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants after completing the FAFSA. 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. Further, those students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak,” Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 53 at 15337-38, are not eligible for emergency financial aid grants.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) – Policies and Procedures
Public notice (updated August 1, 2020)
This public notice is posted on Vanguard University’s main website (www.vanguard.edu) in accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidance.
- Vanguard University signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the HEERF Certification and Agreement indicating at least 50% of any funding it will use under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act will provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- Vanguard University has received $939,916 to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- As of August 1, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $939,689.64.
- The estimated total number of students at Vanguard University who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 1,618.
- The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of 8/1/20 is 896.
- The rules of the grant required that at minimum, recipients of the grant must be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (see www.ed.gov for a list of those eligibility requirements). As of March 17, 2020, the day our campus closed due to COVID-19, Vanguard had 1,618 students who were Title IV-eligible and enrolled in an eligible degree program. Each eligible student was contacted individually and invited to fill out an application to confirm if they met the additional requirements to establish eligibility for the HEERF grant:
- Were they affected by COVID-19?
- Asked to attest that they incurred COVID-19 eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.
- After confirming the student’s TIV eligibility, grants were awarded as follows:
Traditional Undergraduate Students
1. Students with no demonstrated financial need as defined by their FAFSA application were awarded the total amount of their listed expenses up to $200.
2. Non Pell eligible students who still had demonstrated financial need as defined by their FAFSA application, were awarded the total amount of their listed expenses up to $450.
3. Students with no demonstrated financial need as defined by their FAFSA application were awarded the total amount of their listed expenses up to $200.
Professional Studies Students
1. Pell eligible students were awarded the total amount of their listed expenses up to $300
2. Non Pell eligible students who still had demonstrated financial need as defined by their FAFSA application, were awarded the total amount of their listed expenses up to $150
1. Students enrolled in an eligible program were awarded the total amount of their listed expenses up to $200.
Approximately 20% was reserved for professional judgement appeals as defined by the Higher Education Act. Those funds will be awarded on a case by case basis in award amounts up to $6,195 depending on student’s expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
8. Students have been notified in all communications that any funds they receive must be used for COVID-19 related disruptions they have or will experience as a result to the disruption in their educations. Students were advised to keep a record of how these funds are used for eligible educational expenses.