Frequently Asked Questions: The COVID-19 Emergency Student Financial Aid Grant

May 19, 2020 - 5:00 p.m.

What is the Emergency Student Financial Aid Grant?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which established emergency grants intended to assist college students with expenses incurred due to the disruption of campus operations. These funds are disbursed directly to students to assist with food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, child-care, or other expenses.

Who is eligible for the grant?

Students may be eligible for the grant if they meet all of the below criteria:

  • Student must have been enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester as a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate. For applications received after May 15, students must also be enrolled for the Summer or Fall 2020 semester as a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate.
  • Student must have completed a 2019-2020 FAFSA and meet all eligibility requirements for Title IV Financial Aid (such as Federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans or Federal Work Study).
  • Student must have been financially impacted due to disruption of academic operations caused by COVID-19.
  • Any student who was enrolled in an exclusively online program prior to the transition to remote instruction is not eligible to receive funds at this time.

Until May 15, 2020, priority consideration will be given to students with the most financial need as determined by the 2019-2020 FAFSA and the FAU Cares application. After May 15, grants will be disbursed to eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis for as long as funds are available, assuming documented financial impact, a completed FAU Cares application, and continuing registration at FAU. Completion of the FAU Cares application is not a guarantee of funding.

How can I apply?

  1. If you have not already, complete your 2019-2020 FAFSA at FAFSA.gov with FAU's school code (001481). Submit any missing requirements to the Office of Student Financial Aid as soon as possible.
  2. Complete the FAU Cares application, available here: FAU Cares Application

What can this funding be used for?

This funding can be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Things such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, or child-care.

How will I receive my grant?

Your grant will be disbursed to you directly. It will not be applied to any current or outstanding balance at FAU. You are strongly encouraged to set up direct deposit via your MYFAU Self Service, if you have not already, to receive your grant. Please click here for detailed instructions on how to set up direct deposit. If you have already set up direct deposit, no action is needed. If you do not set up direct deposit, you will be mailed a paper check to your address on file.

I completed the FAU CARES application already. Do I need to complete it again?

No, you do not need to complete the application again. However, if at the time that you completed the application, you had not incurred coronavirus-related expenses, and you have since incurred these expenses, you are encouraged to complete the application again to reflect your change in circumstances.

I was enrolled in a 100% online program for the Spring semester. Why am I not eligible for the emergency grant?

Per Department of Education guidelines, students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs for the Spring semester prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible for the emergency grant. Students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs would not have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Will this grant affect my current or future financial aid package?

No. This grant will not reduce or in any other way affect your current financial aid package. It will also not affect any future financial aid package at FAU.

I was enrolled but fully withdrew from the Spring semester. Am I eligible for this grant?

No. Students must be currently enrolled for the Spring semester to be eligible for the grant.

I completed a FAFSA but I wasn't offered any need-based aid. Am I eligible for the grant?

Yes, you are eligible for the grant if funding is available. This grant is not based on financial need. However, until May 15, 2020, priority will be given to applicants with the most financial need as determined by FAFSA. Students who have incurred expenses as described above are encouraged to complete the application as early as possible.

Will I need to repay my grant?

No, this emergency grant does not need to be repaid.

I completed the 2019-2020 FAFSA, but I didn't receive any financial aid for Spring. Am I eligible for the emergency grant?

You may be eligible for the grant if you meet the general eligibility requirements, even if you did not actually receive financial aid for the Spring semester. For example, you may have been offered a federal loan, but declined it. In this case, you are meeting the eligibility requirements and are therefore eligible for the grant. If you did not receive financial aid for the spring semester because you did not submit all required documentation to the Financial Aid Office, however, you may be ineligible for the grant.

The general Title IV eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • A complete 2019-2020 FAFSA with verified social security number
  • Meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements
  • Registered for Selective Service if required
  • Not in default on a Title IV loan or owing a repayment of a Title IV fund 

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions about your Title IV aid eligibility or click here for instructions on how to check your MYFAU Self Service for missing requirements.

I completed the application. How and when will I be notified if I was approved?

If approved, you will be notified via e-mail to your FAU e-mail address 3-5 business days after you apply.

How long will it take to receive my grant?

If you are approved and you have set up Direct Deposit, we will disburse the grant to your account 7-10 business days after your application. Please allow an additional 3-5 business days from disbursement for the funds to be available in your bank account (depending on the procedures of your bank). If you have not set up Direct Deposit, we will mail you a paper check to your local address on file which you may receive 2-3 weeks after approval. Click here for instructions on how to set up Direct Deposit.

I did not receive an approval e-mail. Why wasn't my application approved?

Please allow 3-5 business days from the time of your application to receive an approval e-mail. If more than 5 business days have passed and you have not received notification, consider these possible reasons why your application was not approved:

  • You are not currently enrolled as a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate.
  • Your credits for the Spring semester aren't applicable to your degree.
  • You did not complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA with FAU's school code (001481). You instead completed the application for 2020-2021. Please complete this as soon as possible.
  • You completed the FAFSA, but your application has missing requirements. For example: missing high school transcript, proof of selective service registration, or proof of citizenship. Click here for instructions on how to check your financial aid status for missing requirements and submit missing documents as soon as possible via OwlFiles.
  • You are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. For example, undergraduate students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Click here for more information about these requirements.
  • You were enrolled in an exclusively online program prior to the transition to remote instruction.

Will the emergency student financial aid grant be included as gross income on my taxes?

No. Please click here for recent IRS guidance regarding emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act.

 

 

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Contacts


Questions and Requests for Assistance can be directed to a Member of the COVID-19 Team at FAUCOVID19@fau.edu.

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