Student Emergency Grants FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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.


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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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

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


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.


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


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


CARES Act funding is not considered taxable income.


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


You do not need to repay any CARES Act funding.


No appeals will be considered.


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

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