USU has opened a fourth cycle of emergency grants for students who have experienced unanticipated expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
New Spring Student Initiative
USU has opened another cycle of emergency grants, for new students for spring 2021 semester, who have experienced unanticipated expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Students were automatically selected for an award based on the financial need demonstrated through their FAFSA. Eligible students received an email from the university on January 12, 2021, with instructions for how to accept the award. If you received a grant, you have until Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, to accept it. Students who did not automatically receive an award may still apply (see below). Please note these awards are for students who did not attend fall 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact with questions about CARES Act grants?
Students with questions about this process may contact the Financial Aid office:
email@example.com | 435-797-0173.
What is the federal CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. A section of the CARES Act provides specific funds for higher education institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.
How much money did USU receive?
Nearly 14 billion dollars were allocated to higher education institutions across the nation. USU has submitted the required certification and agreements to receive $17,428,745. USU will allocate 50% of the received funds to provide direct emergency grants to students.
Who is eligible to receive grants?
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students must meet the basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid, which includes having filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is estimated, that over 21,000 USU students meet the basic requirements. Funds can be distributed to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students pursing a degree. Students must be enrolled full-time to receive a technology grant.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education has excluded international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students, or students enrolled exclusively in online courses prior to March 13, 2020.
How have grants been disbursed?
CARES grant amounts during spring semester 2020 ranged from $250-$800 based on enrollment levels and financial need. CARES Act technology grants were awarded during summer 2020, with $300 per student.
CARES Act funds were allocated to students in two ways:
- USU used an institutional need index to identify students with the greatest financial need based on students' FAFSAs.
- Students who did not fill out the FAFSA or who were not deemed eligible for an emergency grant could still apply for reconsideration by applying separately. A student still had to fill out the FAFSA to be considered.
If I was not automatically awarded a CARES grant, how can I still apply?
Students who have not recently filled out the FAFSA or whose financial situation has changed since then, can still apply for a CARES grant during an allocation cycle. The deadline to apply for the current cycle is Feb. 26, 2021. Funds are disbursed first-come, first-serve, and a student must fill out the 2020-21 FAFSA to apply. The federal government has specified that undocumented or international students, as well as students enrolled exclusively in online courses prior to March 13, 2020, are not eligible for CARES Act funds. The university provides a separate grant application to these students.
- Application for students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents
- Application for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents
Why didn’t I receive a CARES Act grant?
You may not have received a CARES grant because you did not meet the general eligibility requirements based on the information USU has about you. If you are not eligible for a CARES Act grant and need help, there are other resources available to you. The Student Emergency Hardship Fund provides monetary awards, dining services cards, and connects students to needed on- and off-campus resources. These grant applications are reviewed weekly and students are contacted within a few weeks of submitting their applications with a decision either way. This fund is made possible through generous donations from faculty, staff and friends of the USU.
Do students have any limitations on how they can spend the money?
As outlined by the U.S. Department of Education, the funds should be used to address unexpected expenses related to disruptions of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How much has been disbursed to students?
As of December 31, 2020
USU has disbursed a total of $7,540,170 to 10,977 students.