On Thursday, April 30, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid sent an email to students outlining the provisions of the new CARES Act Emergency Grant Fund. This fund will use the $8.9 million of the $17 million allocated to NC State through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to Krista Ringler, associate vice provost and director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
“The CARES Act included the Higher Education Fund, and what that really consisted of was an amount of money that is made available to institutions, and 50% of that funding was set aside specifically for student emergency grant support,” Ringler said.
Ringler and her team plan to start making decisions on applications as early as April 30, and students can apply through their MyPack Portal by selecting the “Financial Aid” cell and the 2019-2020 academic year.
“Students can apply if they are graduate, undergraduate, veterinary medicine or agricultural institute students,” Ringler said. “They do have to meet the high level, Title IV eligibility criteria.”
According to Ringler, meeting this criteria doesn’t mean students have to demonstrate financial need, but that students meet requirements such as U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. However, Ringler said when students complete a FAFSA form, all the edit checks to determine Title IV eligibility are complete.
“Students who have already completed a FAFSA are good to go,” Ringler said. “Students who have not yet completed a FAFSA can do so to go through this edit-check process, and we would encourage them to do the 2020-21 version, so that we can also consider them for financial aid for the upcoming academic year.”
Other eligibility criteria to apply for the CARES Act Emergency Fund grant, as listed in the email sent out, include:
Students must be or have been an enrolled graduate or undergraduate student for the term for which they are applying for the grant.
Students must meet eligibility requirements for federal financial aid, as outlined by Title IV.
Students who were enrolled in all distance education classes at the time of the campus disruption are ineligible to apply.
Students should enroll in direct deposit to receive their refund, but if they are unable to do so, a check will be mailed to their U.S. home address.
Students are only eligible for one CARES Act Emergency Fund grant per term.
“We do encourage our students who are graduating this May, if they have financial hardship due to the disruption, to apply quickly,” Ringler said. “Our understanding is that the students need to have been eligible for enrollment to receive the fund, so we want our graduating seniors to apply very quickly if they have been impacted.”
Similar to how refunds were distributed for dining, housing and parking, funds for students who receive a grant will go to their student account, and then, if they are enrolled in direct deposit, be available in their bank account within a few days. Ringler said students can use this money for a variety of needs, from technology to tutoring for students who struggle in an online format.
“We know particularly many students have had struggles with technology needs,” Ringler said. “You may have had equipment break, hardware break or need software, or even internet access we know is a big challenge in some areas, so this fund can be used to support that type of thing.”
Students who are ineligible for a CARES Act Emergency grant are still encouraged to apply for aid through Pack Essentials’ Student Emergency Fund, and can apply by filling out a Pack Essentials application here.
Although there is no summer aid through the CARES Act Emergency Grant Fund currently, Ringler said if students are still experiencing a disruption, they will open up an option for summer.
“We’re excited to get this going,” Ringler said. “It’s one of those things where we know the volume is going to be high, but we’re excited to get some support out quickly.”
For more information on CARES Act Emergency Grants, click here.