CARES Act emergency grants available to App State students

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Multimedia Editor

App state students who missed the mark on initial CARES Act funding now qualify for emergency grants, as stated in an email sent to students May 14.

The act first excluded young adults aged 17-21 still dependent on their parents for support and not making enough money to file taxes, typically college students. With the inclusion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, college students are included in grant allocations through their universities. 

HEERF provides more than $14 billion toward emergency funding for higher education. More than $6 billion must go directly to students for expenses, “related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis,” in the form of financial aid grants, according to nasfaa.org. These grants do not have to be paid back nor are they counted towards or included in any financial aid package or college loans.

Processing of funds is said to begin immediately after submitting an application and is referred to as a “refund.” Refunds will be awarded typically within 3-5 business days, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

App State received $15,927,932. Half will be provided directly to students as HEERF grants.

The CARES Act legislation identifies qualifying expenses to be covered by the grant as the cost of a student’s attendance, such as:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Course materials
  • Technology
  • Relocation expenses
  • Health care
  • Child care
  • Transportation

 

The U.S. Department of Education has defined eligibility criteria for a CARES Emergency Grant as follows:

  1. Student must be enrolled as a degree-seeking, main campus (not online) student in at least one Spring 2020 course on or after March 13, 2020.
  2. Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  3. Must meet federal financial aid eligibility requirements.

Ineligible students are directed to apply for assistance through the Mountaineer Emergency Fund.

Students not eligible may need to complete their 2020-21 FAFSA before applying again. 

Funds received by students must be paid directly by the university and are separate from initial refunds from the university for students living on-campus or paying for a meal plan.

Allocations will vary based on individual situations, but the university said , “our distribution plan is designed to help the most students with the greatest financial need.”

To apply, complete the instructions by the university found here. App State advises graduating seniors to apply as soon as possible. The application is open until July 31, 2020.