Student Emergency Grants FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”)
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”)

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Act provides federal aid to institutions of higher education to help students cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include areas such as food, housing, utilities, course materials, technology, health care, child care, and moving/transportation expenses.

Who is eligible to receive funds?

CARES Act emergency grant funding is provided to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 as of March 13th, 2020.
Current undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking on-campus students who were are enrolled at AU as of March 13th, 2020 and who are eligible to apply for federal Title IV financial aid are eligible to apply for CARES Act funds.
Students enrolled in fully online programs prior to March 13, 2020, international, and undocumented students are not eligible.

Why are enrolled on-line students not eligible to receive funds?

Students enrolled in only online classes on March 13, 2020 would not have additional expenses related to the disruption of their education

What is the Title IV eligibility criteria?

Section 484 of the HEA states that Title IV-eligible students must:

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program;
  • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school and have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
  • For currently enrolled students, be making satisfactory academic progress;
  • Not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants and not be in default on a Title IV loan;
  • File “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes: a statement of educational purpose and student’s SSN.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen;
  • Have returned any fraudulently obtained Title IV funds, if the student is convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges;
  • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits
  • Have repaid any Title IV loan overpayment amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits, if obtained inadvertently;
  • Have Selective Service registration verified;
  • Have a Social Security Number verified;
  • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
I am an international student and not a citizen of the United States. Am I eligible to request CARES Act funds?

Under the guidelines issued by the Department of Education, and because you are not able to apply for federal Title IV financial aid, you are not eligible.

How do I request CARES Act funds?

Eligible students enrolled in AU as of March 13, 2020 can complete the application request to request support. Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Is there a deadline to request CARES Act funds?

To expedite the distribution of emergency funds to students, the University will review applications and award funds on an ongoing basis until the funds are exhausted. The completion of the application request does not guarantee funding.

Do I need to submit receipts?

Receipts are not required as part of your request but documentation supporting your request will be very helpful to the reviewing committee and/or staff.

How long will the review of request take?

We will work to process submissions as quickly as possible. A student may expect decisions to be made as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days after the request is received.

How will I be notified?

Students will be notified of the decision via email to their email address.

How will I receive my funding?

Students will receive their funds based on the refund method by check.

Will the CARES Act funding affect my financial aid package?

No. The CARES emergency request funds have no impact on aid this year or next

If I receive CARES Act emergency grant and have and outstanding balance, will the funds be applied to those charges?

No. Balances owed on student accounts will not be deducted from the CARES Act emergency grant funds. Any balance on the account is still the responsibility of the student.

If I receive CARES Act emergency grant, is it considered financial aid?

No, CARES Act emergency grants are not considered financial aid awarded to you and will not affect your financial aid cost of attendance.

I am graduating at the end of March 2020. May I reqeust funding?

Yes. Graduating seniors are eligible to receive CARES Act funding.

Is the awarded money considered taxable income?

CARES Act funding is not considered taxable income.

Will CARES funding be picked up on the 1098-T form?

CARES funds are not taxable and will not be picked up in the 1098-T process.

Do I need to repay any CARES Act funding.

You do not need to repay any CARES Act funding.

May I appeal my denial or amount awarded?

No appeals will be considered.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact the Financial Aid office if you have any questions concerning the Cares Act funding.