CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

CARES Act Reporting – HEERF Student Emergency Fund 

About the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will allocate $140,086 in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to UWest for the university to serve students and help them continue to learn during this unprecedented time.

UWest has signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education a CARES HEERF Certification and Agreement including assurance that the university will use no less than 50 percent of the HEERF received, i.e. $70,043, to provide emergency grants to students with unforeseen emergency expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.  Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

Who is eligible for the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund?

  • Must be a degree-seeking student enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester;
  • Must be eligible to receive federal student financial aid (Title IV aid);
  • Must have submitted a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA or be eligible to submit a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA.

In order to establish Title IV aid eligibility, the student shall have a completed 2019-2020 FAFSA or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file.  Students who have already successfully submitted a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA do not need to submit again.

According to the U.S. Department of Education guidelines, international students, undocumented students, and DACA students are not eligible for CARES Act funding. 

What are the eligible expenses that can be covered through the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund? 

  • Housing (including rent, security deposit, short-term hotel costs) incurred to relocate, quarantine or isolate, for personal safety, etc.
  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Course materials
  • Technology (including costs of additional equipment, software or Internet services to complete educational requirements via remote learning)
  • Unplanned travel and relocation expenses

How is the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Awarded?

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines, UWest shall distribute the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund to all eligible students through an application process.  Each eligible student will receive a one-time, lump-sum cash grant in the amount of $600 for full-time and half-time students, or $160 for less-than half-time students.  Each student who lived in the on-campus residence halls and moved off campus due to COVID-19 disruption will receive an additional $350 to cover their unexpected relocation expenses.  Funds will be processed through student accounts and will be transferred via ACH direct deposit.  If the student has not set up ACH direct deposit, they will receive a paper check.

 

Funding is provided on a first-come first-served basis.  The last day to apply for the emergency grant is May 29, 2020.

Please apply for CARES Act Student Emergency Fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for this funding if I am an international student or a DACA student? Unfortunately, the answer is no. U.S. Department of Education guidelines determine that international students and DACA students are not eligible for this funding.

Do I have to file a FAFSA to be eligible for this funding?

Yes. You will have to have an accepted 2019-2020 FAFSA or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file. If you have not completed a FAFSA, you can find the application.

How do I apply for this funding?

Students will need to complete the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Application to request the funds.

How much will I be awarded if I am eligible?

Eligible full-time and half-time students registered in a minimum 6 units (or 4.5 units for graduate students) in the spring 2020 semester shall receive a one-time distribution of $600. Less-than-half-time students shall receive a one-time distribution of $160.  Each student who lived in the on-campus residence halls and moved off campus due to COVID-19 disruption after March 13, 2020 shall receive an additional $350 to cover their unexpected relocation expenses.

Will these funds be applied to my student account and then sent to my bank account?

The funds will be processed through your student account, but they will be payable directly to you via direct deposit, if available, or by paper check.  The funds will not be applied to past or current UWest charges.

Can UWest apply these funds to my current or past-due balance?

These funds can only be used for reimbursement of specific expenditures that you incurred as a result of the COVID-19 campus disruption.  These costs include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

Will these funds count against my current or future financial aid eligibility?

No. These funds are not considered Title IV financial aid. They can only be used for specific expenditures that you incurred as a result of the COVID-19 campus disruption.  These costs include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

If you have any further questions regarding the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund, please email UWest’s Director of Financial Aid at lezliyf@uwest.edu.

NOTE: This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information is subject to change as deemed necessary by University of the West in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education.