CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund - Student Aid
The CARES Act has allocated funds to higher education institutions for emergency relief grants to be used for student aid to eligible students. The US Department of Education is administering the funds and has apportioned $1,635,969 to the University of Bridgeport to be used solely for this purpose. UB signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the US Department of Education on April 14, 2020 with the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Student Aid (HEERF – Student Aid) recognizes that students have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.
UB adopted a plan to distribute the majority of the HEERF – Student Aid funds equally to all eligible UB students, with the opportunity for eligible students to apply for additional support, if needed.
From May 15, 2020 to the end of the month, a total of $1,334,000 was equally distributed to all 2,668 eligible UB students at $500 per student. In addition, 306 of the recipients applied for and were awarded extra CARES Act emergency student funds at amounts ranging from $100 to $3,000, for a total of $302,515.91, comprised of the remaining $301,969 plus the $546.91 accrued as interest income. These remaining funds were distributed at the end of June 2020. So the complete distribution of UB’s CARES Act emergency financial aid grants to UB eligible students totalled $1,636,515.91 ($1,635,969 plus $546.91).
Frequently Asked Questions
The US Department of Education has established the requirements that UB must follow. Students must have been enrolled in six credit hours or more in the Spring 2020 semester. All recipients must be Title IV eligible students. Students who were exclusively distance learning students prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible to receive CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief.
Any student who is not Title IV eligible cannot receive the grant. This includes international students and DACA students. In addition, Title IV eligible students who were exclusively distance learning students prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible.
For the Spring 2020 semester, 2,668 students were determined to be eligible for CARES Act student grants, based on having using FAFSA to determine Title IV eligibility, excluding students enrolled exclusively in distance learning prior to March 13, 2020, and enrolled in at least 6 credits.
Based on the number of Title IV eligible students enrolled in 6 credits or more at UB for the Spring 2020 semester, we disbursed $500 to each eligible student and disbursed the remaining $301,969 plus the $546.91 accrued as interest income in varying amounts to 306 eligible applicants.
UB used the 2019-2020 FAFSA to determine eligibility.
Students enrolled in a program that was offered exclusively online prior to March 13, 2020 are considered distance learning students.
UB used FAFSA to determine Title IV eligibility. A description of Title IV eligibility for students can be found at https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/requirements.