CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund
04/28/2021 Update: On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (P.L. 116-260). CRRSAA authorizes eligibility for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II for students exclusively enrolled in distance education. This expanded eligibility applies to both new funds under the CRRSAA (HEERF II funds) and any leftover funds under the CARES Act (HEERF I funds).
Eligible recipients for CARES Act Emergency Relief funding include on campus degree seeking students who have demonstrated eligibility for Federal Student (Title IV) Aid. Funds will be awarded based on eligible expenses incurred by the student as a result of the Regent University campus closure due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
How to Apply
Students interested in applying for CARES Emergency Relief funds should contact the Office of Advising to discuss their unique situation with a member of our Advising team. Qualifying students will be provided with further application steps, which generally include a summary of their circumstances and supporting documentation, along with submission of either a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I file a FAFSA? The FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Please visit our full Steps to Aid page for more information. Students must successfully resolve any documentation requirements resulting from their FAFSA in order to establish their eligibility for Title IV aid. This requirement must be met to qualify for CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund assistance.
Do online or international students qualify for CARES funds?
The Department of Education has issued guidance that students enrolled in online programs do not qualify for CARES Act Emergency Relief funding. On campus students who are now studying temporarily online due to the campus closure can qualify for funding. International students, including students under a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are not eligible recipients for aid from this fund.
Can students failing Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) qualify for CARES funds?
Students must demonstrate eligibility for Title IV aid to qualify for CARES Act Emergency Relief assistance. Based on current guidance, students that have failed the SAP requirements cannot qualify for funds from this grant, unless they have successfully appealed their SAP status and obtained approval for SAP probation. SAP policy and appeal information is available here.
Can CARES funds be awarded to offset lost income?
CARES Act Emergency Grant funding is intended to assist students for expenses resulting in the campus closure due to COVID-19. Loss of income is separate and distinct from additional expenses, and therefore does not qualify for assistance from this fund. However students are encouraged to reach out to the Office of Advising as noted in the How to Apply steps above if they have experienced income loss or other forms of financial hardship due to the epidemic. Other forms of Special Consideration may be available to provide assistance.
What options exist to help online students impacted by COVID-19?
While CARES Emergency Relief Grant funds cannot be awarded to online students, other forms of accommodation are available and will be made on a case by case basis. This can include academic grace for courses dropped due to COVID-19, additional time to complete assignments, and review for additional eligibility from the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan programs.
Regent University created a fully digital CARES Grant application and notified all eligible students of the application process in May of 2020. The application form also provided eligible students with an option to notify the Student Financial Aid Office of loss of income, if the student’s FAFSA and enrollment level positioned them to qualify for need based assistance as a result of an income loss. CARES grant award amounts were determined based on qualifying expenses provided by the student within the application.
In addition to the student application process, Regent University provided batch award payments to federal aid eligible students who were required to vacate university housing in advance of the expected semester end due to COVID. Student award amounts were determined, in part, based on student expected family contributions (EFC) as well as the student’s prior housing status. Residential adult learners were provided grant funding of $1,500 to assist in covering the cost of obtaining off campus housing, inclusive of security deposit and first month’s rent. Students expected to travel home due to the closure were granted $450 to cover transportation expenses. Eligible students who vacated housing between Thanksgiving and Christmas were granted awards of $171.50 to assist with costs associated with the housing disruption.
Availability of grant funding was posted to the Regent University website and student’s meeting the Department of Education defined eligibility criteria were sent direct notifications via text message and email to apply. Recipients of batch awards were notified via email of award amounts and provided the link to additional information, including how to apply for more funding and the special consideration process if they experienced a loss of income.