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Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund

Welcome! We know that life under COVID has been extremely challenging, especially if you’ve lost your job, lost work hours, or haven’t been able to find a new job. Montgomery College is here to help. If you qualify, we have a new program to help you pay for classes to learn new skills, earn a license or credential, and find a job.

GEER Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund overview

Background Information

The Governor of the State of Maryland has established a fund to help Maryland residents who have been impacted by COVID enroll in workforce training classes that lead to a labor market recognized credential, so that students can return quickly to work. Montgomery College will distribute this funding to eligible students until September 30, 2021 or until money runs out whichever is first.

Notice: Due to overwhelming interest in GEER, we will stop accepting new applications until we process current ones.  Please check back after February 1, 2021 for more information.

Services

Students may qualify for support in one or more of three areas: course tuition/fees; technology needs; other fees. Depending on participant needs and available resources, students may use this funding for

  • Course tuition and fees up to $3,500 per participant
  • Technology needs related to remote instruction up to $1,000 per participant for courses over 18 hours or more. 
  • Other fees (for example, books, certification/licensing, testing fees) up to $500 per participant

Students may also receive additional support with career planning and education decisions, referrals  for social services, and job search services.

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be a Maryland resident
  • Be legally eligible to work in the US
  • Have their employment status affected by COVID – this includes a job loss, reduction in hours, unstable employment, or challenges finding new employment
  • Owe no more than $5,000 to Montgomery College
  • Be enrolled in or ready to enroll in a GEER approved course
  • Meet income eligibility guidelines

Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a first come-first serve basis while funding is available until June 30, 2021. All funding must be used by September 30. 2021.

Important Application Information

  1. GEER Program Overview / Orientation (YouTube Video)new window
  2. GEER Program Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  3. GEER listing of Approved Courses Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  4. Acceptable Documents (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  5. Income Eligibility Guidelines (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  6. GEER Eligibility Screening Formnew window
Step #1. Review the Approved Courses

You will need to select a potential career path from the GEER list of approved courses (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) . These are listed by program area,  and then by subcategories. Please be prepared to select what path (program area and career) you are interested in. 

For example: if you are interested in a career in the Health Sciences, you may want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The course descriptions may be found in the WDCE brochure (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) . If you still have questions, please contact the Program Director as listed on the GEER list of Approved Courses (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) . They will be able to talk to you about your career choice. 

Application Steps:

  1. Watch the PowerPoint GEER Program Overview / Orientation Guide  (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  2. Read the GEER Program Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  3. Review the Frequently Asked Questions listed below.
  4. GEER Eligibility Screening Form. Fill this form out so we can  ensure you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the program.
    1. We will review your form, and if  you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for GEER funding, you’ll get an email with the link to the full application.
    2. If you do not qualify, we will notify you.
  5. Complete the full GEER application.
  6. Follow the directions and upload any required documents (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) that describe your situation.
  7. Wait for a Montgomery College staff member to review your application and contact you by phone or email.
    1. Please be sure to respond quickly to Montgomery College staff members who are trying to reach you.
GEER Eligibility Screener Form

Frequently Asked Questions

This funding is for anyone whose job or job search has been impacted by COVID. This means you lost a job, had your hours reduced, or have had difficulty finding a new job.

This funding is for anyone whose job or job search has been impacted by COVID. This means you lost a job, had your hours reduced, or have had difficulty finding a new job.

Applicants must:

  • Be a Maryland resident.
  • Be legally eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have their employment status affected by COVID - this includes a job loss, reduction in hours, unstable employment, or challenges finding new employment.
  • Owe no more than $5,000 to Montgomery College.
  • Be enrolled in or ready to enroll in a GEER approved course (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) .
  • Meet income eligibility guidelines (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) .

If you meet the preliminary eligibility requirements, you will be instructed to send us a copy of one document for each of these categories.

  • Maryland residence
  • Income
  • Employment status
  • Employment authorization

Click here for the complete list of acceptable documentation for GEER. (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) There are many documents we can accept. If you don't have something, please tell us what you have.

 The money can be used to pay for job training classes, and technology needs, and books or credential fees if you’re enrolled in a class that will lead to a job. Read more about it in the GEER Program Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
 You can take Montgomery College Workforce Development & Continuing Education courses that lead to a license or credential that will help you get a job quickly. This funding is NOT for classes to help you earn a college degree. Here is a complete list of GEER approved courses (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) . Make sure that we have the program you’re looking for. 
 If you need more information about different jobs, a good place to start is Career Coach. It will give you information on jobs, job outlook, careers, programs, area openings, and salaries.
 For right now, most classes are held remotely. Some courses meet face to face if there is a lab or clinical time required for credentials or licensing. If you have technology needs, please speak to the College staff member when they contact you. We understand the situation is changing quickly and Montgomery College is working hard to keep everyone as safe as possible. For more information, see Montgomery College COVID Information
Check out the Workforce Development Schedule of Classes to see when the next courses will be offered. If you need a high school diploma to get a job, you may be interested in the GED Test Preparation Program. If you speak another language and need to learn more English to earn a credential, check out the Work Plus! Job Training for English Language Learners.
 After you complete the full application, you will be contacted by a College staff member who will review your application and determine your technology needs. If you qualify, you will be given a voucher to use at the College bookstore for approved items.
 You may qualify to receive help paying for books for your class or for fees to take your credential tests.
 Yes! You must apply early before the money runs out. Then you must enroll quickly. The last date to apply is June 30, 2021 or until the money is gone. Classes fill up quickly, so you should enroll right after you receive the money. If you don’t, we need to offer the money to the next person in line.
No. This money cannot be used to pay for classes you've already completed. If you owe Montgomery College more than $5,000, you are not eligible to receive support from the GEER Program.
No. You may use only one kind of WDCE scholarship at a time.
Yes. In order to qualify for technology support, you must be enrolled in a Montgomery College course that lasts for 18 or more hours,  selected from the GEER approved list of courses (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
Yes. You may be able to get help with books, technology. If you've already enrolled for a spring 2021 class that has been approved, you may still be qualified for tuition support.
You must first complete and pass a class successfully before receiving help for a second course.
Watch the GEER Program Overview / Orientation (video) new windowfor more details. Please review GEER Program Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) for a complete list of program rules and student responsibilities.
Once you submit your screening eligibility form you need to allow us two business days  to review your form and respond to you. We will not respond to you on weekends.

This $1,361,801 grant, awarded to Montgomery College from the U.S. Department of Education and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, is 100% funded from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Education Stabilization Fund Program - Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. CFDA 84.425C.   

 

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