CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid, which allocates funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students with immediate needs related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The amount of funding allocated to schools throughout the country was determined using a formula taking into account the number of Pell-eligible and non-Pell eligible students enrolled full-time at each campus. Specific details about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.
As a result of this legislation, CalArts has been allocated approximately $500,000 to be distributed as one-time grants to Title IV eligible students. These grants will be automatically disbursed to students enrolled for the spring 2020 semester.
Who is eligible?
In order to qualify for a CARES Act Grant, students must meet existing Title IV eligibility requirements, which includes completion of a valid 2019-20 FAFSA, as well as the FAFSA verification process, if applicable. CalArts will determine eligibility for these grants using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the 2019-20 FAFSA.
How much will eligible students receive?
Eligible students will be disbursed grants in three tiers, based on academic level and EFC.
- $1,200 CARES Act Grant
- Undergraduate students with an EFC less than or equal to $5,576 (the Pell Grant maximum EFC threshold)
- $750 CARES Act Grant
- Graduate students with an EFC less than or equal to $5,576
- $600 CARES Act Grant
- Undergraduate students with an EFC between $5,577 and $11,152 (twice the Pell Grant maximum EFC threshold)
The CARES Act Emergency Grant does not affect any other state, federal, or institutional financial aid. It is a one-time, nontaxable grant that does not need to be repaid.
Based on spring 2020 enrollment, approximately 460 CalArts students (80% of all Title IV eligible students) will qualify to receive a grant from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The CARES Act Emergency Grant program has limited funding. Students will be awarded grants as long as funds remain available.
To learn more, please visit the Financial Appeals page on the Hub: