Emergency Relief Funds Info
For information about Northwestern College’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Report, visit our HEERF page.
COVID-19 Updates and Resources
January 11, 2021 – Winter 2021 Quarter Update
We are excited for the 2021 Academic Year and continuing to bring our students unique experiences both virtual and in-person that will prepare them for careers in their chosen field.
August 31, 2020 – Reopening Plan
Northwestern College is looking forward to welcoming our students, faculty, and staff for the Fall 2020 Quarter.
August 20, 2020
Dear Northwestern College Students, Faculty, and Staff:
In response to the global pandemic, Northwestern College suspended face to face instruction in March. Our decision to move to online instruction was made in order to continue to serve our students and maintain employment for all of the faculty and staff. A large focus for our team since March has been to ensure we are able to continue to offer the courses and experiences each student needs to avoid any program disruptions. We are grateful that we have been successful in reaching this main goal for our students. Our staff has worked remotely to deliver you service and support. Our faculty have delivered simulated online experiences in alignment with our regional and programmatic accreditation standards. In addition, our program leaders have partnered with faculty to streamline our curriculum to increase student success and completion.
Our commitment to our students has not waivered since March, we are committed to completion for all of our students. This means we are preparing to return to campus to offer the hands-on learning experiences that are necessary for our students to complete their programs and be successful in their careers. The Northwestern College Executive Leadership Team is continuing to collaborate across all departments to finalize our plan for our employees and students to return safely to campus in the fall 2020 quarter to continue to deliver our commitment to completion.
The finalized plan will be sent by August 31, 2020. In the meantime, we are limiting the number of people on campus. All visits to campus need to be coordinated in advance. If you are not scheduled to be on campus (teach a class, attend a class, have an appointment, work a shift) and need to come to campus please email COVID Response Team Covidresponseteam@NC.edu to coordinate your visit.
Thank you for your diligence and fortitude as we have navigated this unprecedented time in our country. Northwestern College is committed to each and every one of you!
COVID-19 Testing Locations
Below are sites that offer COVID-19 testing around the NC area. Please review the requirements and choose the one that best works for your needs.
OSF Care Station West
6700 W 95th Street Suite 220
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm, 8:00am – 6:00pm, 8:00am – 4:00pm
Days of Operation: Monday – Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Sunday
Requirements: Must meet testing criteria, and patients must be screened through Pandemic Health or PCP in advance. Must call 1-833-OSF- KNOW in advance to schedule an appointment.
0.96 miles away
Stickney Public Health District
5635 State Rd
Burbank, IL 60459
Hours:9:00am-12:30pm, 1:00-4:00pm, 9:00am-12:30pm
Days of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Requirements: Patients with symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19; asymptomatic, high-risk patients, first responders, health care workers, or essential workers who wish to be tested
COVID Hotline:708-PILLARS (708-745-5277)
2.21 miles away
OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center
2800 W. 95th Street
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
Days of Operation: Daily
Requirements: Doctors Order, meet criteria using online tool (fever, cough, shortness of breath, contact with positive person, headache, chills, loss of taste/smell)
COVID Hotline: (833) OSF-KNOW
5.54 miles away
If the sites listed above are not near you, please use the links below to search for a testing center near you.
Face Covering Do’s & Don’ts
Small Social Gatherings Safety Tips
Previous COVID-19 Updates
July 13, 2020 (Library Curbside Services)
Starting on Monday, July 13, the following updates will be implemented in connection with Northwestern College’s Library:
- Students can return checked out materials, or pick up materials they want to check out.
- Students can email the Director at email@example.com with items they want to check out.
- The Director of Library Services will begin emailing students who have items checked out to see if they want to return them. If so, the Director and students will come up with a mutually convenient time.
- Students will have at least 24 hours’ notice of that drop-off/pick-up time.
- Students should stay in their cars upon arrival at the Bridgeview campus. The Director will come out wearing a mask and gloves to pick up or deliver the items.
- If students arrive on campus in anything other than a motor vehicle, there will have to be handoffs of items directly. Since the Director will be wearing gloves and a mask, this should not be a problem.
June 16, 2020 (Emergency Relief Funds Information)
When trying to cash your COVID-19 Emergency Relief check, if your Bank or a Currency Exchange requires confirmation from an NC employee that the check is valid and was issued by the College (as a result of being overly cautious due to numerous COVID-19 relief check scams), please refer them to:
CINDY BERRYMAN, Northwestern College Controller
708-237-5050, Extension 2145
We suggest planning ahead and getting this number to your bank or currency exchange ahead of time, for NC employees are NOT working on campus – they are working from Home. Messages left at Cindy Berryman’s phone extension at the Bridgeview Campus will result in an email notification to her that she has a phone message. She will respond promptly, but not necessarily in 10 minutes while you are standing at the bank or currency exchange. Please be sure to bring the NC letter and envelope, which was stamped via NC’s electronic stamp meter, as further proof. In addition, you can point them to this post on the COVID-19 Updates section of NC’s website at www.NC.edu
June 12, 2020 (Current Students)
Northwestern College Students,
Congratulations for completing the Spring Quarter during this unprecedented time in our country. Thank you for your patience as we continue to review and adjust our operations based on guidance from the IL Department of Public Health, Center for Disease Control, and the IL Board of Higher Education. Your leadership team is continuing to use the guidance provided to plan to reopen safely. At this time our plan is as follows:
- Campus to remain closed until further notice
- We are beginning a comprehensive cleaning process as well as making adjustments to our campus to increase our ability to operate safely under new guidelines
- Our faculty and staff are working remotely and will continue to be available to you
- We will be offering all of our Summer Quarter courses virtually
- We are determining how to proceed with clinical and externship experiences – you will be notified of any changes directly from your Program Leader
The Northwestern College Leadership team will continue to monitor and respond based on daily information. Please continue to check your email and our webpage for the most up-to-date information surrounding our COVID-19 Response.
June 4, 2020 (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund 2020)
Student Funds Distribution Policy & Process
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has provided emergency relief funding that is available to Northwestern College (NC) students who need financial support for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations and their education due to the Coronavirus.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”), which has been financed through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), has been established to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students whose lives and education have been disrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak. Eligible expenses to be covered by these funds can include course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and child care.
These emergency relief funds have been provided to the DOE. For students to receive these funds, their college/university must submit an application, including a signed certification, affirming they will distribute the direct emergency cash grants to their students in accordance with applicable law. Colleges and universities that submit such application will be charged with determining which students receive grants, while upholding the Congressional intent that such funds be provided to those students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak.
On April 13, 2020, NC applied for student emergency funds in the amount of $514,644.00 (the amount determined by the DOE formula and reported to NC).
NC established the DOE Emergency Relief Fund Policy Committee to review the parameters set out by the Congress in the federal CARES Act and to draft a policy to determine how these emergency relief funds would be managed and dispersed to eligible NC students. The Committee narrowed the options to two:
- Establish an Application Process whereby all students would have the option to submit an application setting out their individual expenses incurred by the disruption of their college education, caused as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In order to be complete, supporting documentation, including receipts and/or notices from employers, landlords, mortgage companies, daycare providers, etc, would be required as part of the application. Decisions on the amount of emergency grant funds for each applicant would be based on the need professed and evidenced. Checks would be distributed to students via US Mail. OR
- Establish a Formula to Distribute all Emergency Funds Equally to All Students, whereby all requirements and limitations set out by the CARES Act would be taken into account. The total amount of funds available would be divided equally among all eligible NC students. Upon NC’s receipt of these federal funds, checks would be distributed to students via US Mail following the student’s email confirmation of home address and signed agreement to spend any funds given in accordance with the terms set out in the CARES Act.
Option #2 was agreed upon – establishing a Formula to Distribute all Emergency Funds Equally to All Students.
• Set the formula to calculate the total emergency grant for each eligible student: Determine the total amount of funds allotted and divide by the number of eligible NC students, thereby providing an even distribution of all emergency funds allotted for NC students by the DOE.
- Total Number of NC students (active + COVID-related Leaves of Absence): 489
- Total Number of Ineligible NC students: 50 o 50 NC students are 100% online (an exclusion in the CARES Act);
- Total Number of Eligible NC students: 439
$514,644.00 (total funds) ÷ 439 (total eligible students [489 total students – 50 excluded students]) = $1,172.31 per eligible student*
*This total is subject to change should the number of eligible students fluctuate
- A DocuSign email Notification of Emergency Funds Grant will be sent to all eligible students from a specially created email address for the college, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In order to receive emergency grant funds, eligible students must respond to the notification DocuSign email and:
- Provide confirmation of their current home address; and
- Confirm they have been financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and agree to use the funds in accordance with the CARES Act conditions by providing an e-signature via DocuSign.
- The email@example.com email address will be checked every Monday morning, Tuesday morning if Monday is a holiday. All DocuSign email responses from eligible students will be reviewed and processed accordingly during the week.
- Upon confirmation of home address and a completed DocuSign agreeing to accept the funds and comply with the terms of the CARES Act, the Accounting Department will be notified. A check will then be cut in the amount of $1,172.31* to that student and sent via US Mail, along with an informational letter, to the address provided by the student.
- All emergency relief grant checks will be valid for 60 days from the date the check was issued. If after 60 days the check has not been cashed by its recipient, it most likely is lost in the mail or was inadvertently sent to the wrong address. Checks not cashed within 60 days will be voided and the student contacted for further information so that a new check can be cut and issued.
- At the conclusion of this dispersal of funds, attempts shall be made to reach students that did not complete the DocuSign or cash relief checks issued to them. A final written attempt shall contain a deadline of no less than 10 days to respond. Any student funds not claimed by that deadline shall be determined to be unclaimed Residual Student HEERF (“Residual”).
- Distribution of all Residual funds shall commence not long after the deadline to claim emergency relief funds. Students that received emergency relief funds from the initial equal distribution of the $514,644 shall be ineligible for any additional emergency relief.
- In accordance with NC’s Policy, Residual funds shall be divided equally among all eligible NC students.
- Eligibility for Residual emergency relief is met if students are: 1) active or on a COVID-related leave of absence; 2) are not attending classes 100% online; 3) have not previously received NC student emergency relief funds; and 4) affirmatively respond to the DocuSign email notification of eligibility by the deadline set, which shall be no less than 10 days from issuance.
- The formula for distribution of Residual funds shall be as follows:
- Total Number of NC students (active + COVID-related Leaves of Absence): 445
- Total Number of Ineligible NC students: XX*
- XX NC students are 100% online (an exclusion in the CARES Act);
- 217 NC students previously received HEERF Funds; and
- XX* NC students did not respond to DocuSign Notification by deadline
- Total Number of Eligible NC students: XXX*
$26,944.69 (total Residual) ÷ XXX* (total eligible students [445 total students – XXX* excluded students])
= $XXX per eligible student*
*Number yet to be determined pursuant to eligible student responses
- Following the deadline to affirmatively respond to the DocuSign notification email and agreement to use the funds in accordance with the CARES Act conditions, the total eligible students will be determined. Upon insertion of that number into the formula, a total amount of Residual funds per student shall be set. Checks shall then be generated for all eligible students and distributed.
- In accordance with CARES Act requirements, Reports will be generated and submitted to the DOE identifying all emergency grant fund recipients and any other information as requested.
- Following the generation of requisite DOE reports, a tabulation of any checks not yet cashed by the recipients within the 60 days since written will be tabulated. Those designated recipients will be followed up with to verify receipt and determine if the initial check should be voided and reissued.
- A Data File will be created by NC to include:
- the name of each eligible student a check was issued to;
- the check number for the grant funds issued to that student;
- the amount of the check – $1,172.31*; and
- the date that the check and information letter was mailed to the eligible student.
- The Data File will be maintained by NC for no less than 3 years and submitted for audit in accordance with the CARES Act, along with record of the e-signatures of all eligible students that agreed to spend the emergency funds given in accordance with the terms set out in the CARES Act.
In accordance with the Congressional intent set out in the CARES Act, should additional relief funds be made available to students in the future, this 2020 Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Distribution Policy & Process may be amended to ensure relief to the neediest eligible NC students adversely affected in connection with the disruption of their lives and education as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
All questions, comments or concerns in connection with the 2020 CARES Act emergency relief funds for NC students should be directed to Government & Public Relations Director Laura Pollastrini and the Emergency Relief Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 2, 2020 (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Report)
May 13, 2020 (Federal CARES Act FAQs)
What is the CARES Act?
The CARES Act is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial aid grants. One part of this federal program allocates money to Northwestern College (NC) and a portion of that allocation can be awarded to students who are experiencing expenses due to the coronavirus.
Who is eligible for a HEERF grant?
Students at NC who meet basic eligibility for federal financial aid can be considered for these grants. Unfortunately, the CARES Act specifically disallows these funds to be awarded to students who are 100% on-line, students ineligible for federal aid, international students, or DACA students.
How do I apply for the HEERF grant?
Information about applying for these funds will be emailed to eligible students when funding becomes available. NC will send eligible students a Docusign form that must be completed and emailed back. On that form we will ask you to provide your correct US Postal address, attest to having been financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and your agreement to use the funds for eligible expenses as defined in the CARES Act.
What constitutes eligible expenses?
There are a wide range of financial costs that can be deemed directly tied to the emergency situation that is straining NC students. Appropriate costs could include food, housing, course materials, technology upgrades, health care, and child care.
Will I have to repay the HEERF grant?
No. The HEERF funds the college will award to students are designated to be a grant and not a loan, therefore it will not have to be repaid.
Where are the funds coming from?
NC has been awarded and is awaiting receipt of funds from the federal CARES Act. On behalf of the federal government and US Department of Education – the agency distributing these federal dollars – the College is charged with dispensing these student funds as emergency grants to NC’s eligible students.
How will NC disburse the money?
NC will establish a formula to distribute all emergency funds equally to all eligible NC students, whereby all requirements and limitations set out by the CARES Act would be taken into account. Upon NC’s receipt of these federal funds, checks would be distributed to students via US Mail following the student’s email confirmation of home address and returned signed Docusign attesting they have been financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and they agree to spend any funds given in accordance with the terms set out in the CARES Act.
Will this grant reduce my financial aid?
No. This grant does not replace any financial aid.
How much money is available for each student?
NC has decided to divide the total dollars allotted to students by the total eligible students as defined in the CARES Act. Until the formula is set and the number of eligible NC students is determined, we are unable to determine an exact dollar award. However, all eligible NC students will receive the same award following the College’s receipt of a student’s postal address and the signed Docusign agreement as outlined above.
What documentation is required to be submitted with the Docusign application?
Nothing. But students applying for the grant must attest that they suffered financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that they would use the dollars in accordance with the CARES Act, for expenses incurred in connection with the virus.
How can students obtain more information about the CARES Act?
Continue to check NC’s website. As soon as the Department of Education communicates additional guidance, NC will publish it on our website.
Will I need to report the HEERF grant on my federal tax return?
Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have a separate and unique tax consequence for your tax return. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov for assistance.
May 11, 2020 (Federal CARES Act)
Northwestern College has completed the necessary steps to request the funding we are eligible for under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The funding has not yet been released to the College. We are preparing processes to provide eligible students access to this funding as soon as possible. We will be sending direct communication to all students once we are able to begin releasing funds. We will also be posting all relevant information for students to our dedicated web page for COVID-19. Please continue to stay tuned to your email and the web page for updates.
April 22, 2020 (Current and Future Students)
Northwestern College is committed to making the adjustments necessary in ensuring your educational journey to be as uninterrupted as possible. Please continue to check your email and monitor our website for updates.
Thank you for your patience as we evolve with the adverse times. Your leadership team continues to use information from public health experts and adjust accordingly to ensure safety for our entire college community. Additionally, we want to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning. Based on all of the information available to us at this time we will be taking the following actions:
- Complete the Spring Quarter online
- Campus to remain closed until further notice
- Our faculty and staff are working remotely and will continue to be available
- Offer Summer Quarter courses virtually
- Our current plan is to offer skills workshops with small groups of students once the “Shelter in Place” order is lifted for IL
- More information about these workshops will be shared prior to the start of the Summer Quarter
Making these decisions has not been easy and we recognize that you are impacted greatly by the current situation. Our faculty and staff continue to work diligently to adjust our operations so we can support you and continue to offer courses, ensuring your program progression is not interrupted.
Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health has advised us that, as with any respiratory virus, students and school personnel can protect themselves and others by taking every day common sense actions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Consult with your healthcare provider about getting an influenza vaccination if you haven’t already done so.
- Wear a cloth face cover when going out in public.
The Northwestern College Leadership team will continue to monitor and respond based on daily information. Please continue to check this page for the most up-to-date information surrounding COVID-19 Response.
March 31, 2020 (Current and Former Students)
To our current and former students,
Northwestern College recognizes that the National Emergency and the COVID-19 virus pandemic may cause a financial strain to many, therefore a decision has been made to provide a 90-day forbearance option on Tuition Flex GAP Loans managed by Launch Servicing and Partners Financial Services GAP Loans. Business Office will also be providing an elective 90-day adjustment to any current Institutional Payment Plan Agreements.
Forbearances/ adjustments will be processed upon request by you, the borrower, to the appropriate servicer:
- For Tuition Flex GAP Loans managed by Launch Servicing, please contact Launch at 877-354-2629;
- For Partners Financial Services GAP Loans, please contact Partners Financial at 800-926-1303, option 3;
- For Institutional Payment Plan Agreements, please contact the Business Office at 708-237-5050, ext. 2698. Please leave a detailed voicemail or email us at BusinessOffice@nc.edu. Please remember to provide current contact phone number on all communication and we will contact you back as soon as possible.
- Forbearances/ adjustments will be backdated to be effective as of March 13, 2020 to align with guidance received from the US Department of Education, concerning federally owned loans.
If you are in need of this adjustment, please submit your request as soon as possible. We ask for your patience at this time as we are working through the details with the appropriate agencies. Please be aware that the updates on your accounts may not be reflected for several days, however, they will be backdated to March 13, 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact our Business Office and we will address your concerns best to our ability at this time. You can do so by leaving a voicemail at 708-237-5050, ext. 2698 or emailing BusinessOffice@nc.edu.
Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we work remotely to accommodate all your needs. We appreciate your patience during this time and wish you all to stay healthy and safe.
March 27, 2020 (2020 Commencement)
Dear NC Graduates:
It is with deep sadness that we notify you that due to the current health situation, we are postponing our June 5, 2020 Commencement Ceremony. We will work over the next few months, as we monitor the ongoing situation in our state, to determine a suitable alternative to allow you to celebrate your accomplishment with your colleagues, friends, and family. This decision was not reached lightly as we recognize the importance of this event to all of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to update you as we have information regarding the 2020 Commencement Ceremony.
March 19, 2020 (Current Students)
Northwestern College Students:
Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor this National Emergency situation. Your leadership team continues to use information from public health experts and adjust accordingly to ensure safety for our entire college community. Additionally, we want to ensure continuity of teaching and learning. Based on all of the information available to us at this time we will be taking the following actions:
- Completing all final exams online
- Spring Quarter Instruction Delayed until 4/6/2020
- Campus to remain closed until further notice
- Our faculty and staff will all be transitioning to working remotely by 3/20/2020
- Offer Spring Quarter courses virtually
- Our current plan is to resume Face to Face Courses on 5/4/2020
Making these decisions has not been easy and we recognize that you are impacted greatly by the current situation. Our faculty and staff are doing incredible work to adjust our operations so we can support you and continue to offer courses to ensure your program progression is not interrupted.
The College Leadership team will continue to monitor and respond based on daily information. Please continue to monitor your email and our website for information regarding campus operation decisions.