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What is the CARES Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law that provides economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which allocates money to universities for emergency financial aid grants to eligible students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.
What is a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
The grants are for students who have experienced additional expenses due to COVID-19. The CARES Act directs universities to prioritize students who demonstrate high need when awarding funds.
Grant funds can help students pay expenses due to the disruption for technology, health care, childcare, course materials, rent, food, moving or other expenses. Funds are also for unanticipated expenses for summer or fall, due to the impact of COVID-19.
Who is eligible for funds?
The federal government has established eligibility criteria that students must meet in order to receive CARES Act Emergency Grants. Only students who are eligible for federal aid and have a financial need can be considered.
How can I apply for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
To be considered for a grant, you must fill out an online application form, located in your MyMav account. Click on CARES Act Emergency Grant tile, located on the UTA student homepage within MyMav.
If I have a financial need but I am ineligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant, what can I do?
If you are a student from one of these ineligible groups, you should consider applying for help through the UTA Emergency Assistance Fund.
When will CARES Act Emergency Grants be available?
UTA is now accepting applications for emergency grants.
How many students will receive assistance?
UTA estimates it will be able award funds to approximately 12,000 students, based on its existing financial aid data. This figure reflects readily available financial need information, such as the federal Expected Family Contribution calculation (EFC), loss of employment, foster care status, veteran financial need data and the applicant pool for the Emergency Assistance Fund.
Will everyone who applies receive a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
No. While generous, the amount of grant funds awarded to UTA is not sufficient to support all students. UTA is following federal eligibility criteria. Students must be eligible for federal aid and demonstrate a financial need in order to be considered.
We have developed a plan to help as many students as possible while still awarding an amount that is meaningful. Students with the highest demonstrated financial need will be given priority.
If I receive a CARES Act Emergency Grant, am I eligible to receive additional CARES Act grants for future semesters?
No. Based on current funding, UTA will award only one grant per student.
Are graduate and undergraduate students eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grants?
Yes, provided they meet the federal eligibility criteria.
How will UTA disburse the funds?
The awards will be made through the usual student refund process. The funds will not pay any existing balances. The full amount of the grant will be delivered to students based on their direct deposit or check reimbursement method that is on file with UTA.
UTA recommends direct deposit for students. It is the most secure, reliable and convenient method for receiving your money. Watch this tutorial to learn how to sign up.
CARES Act Emergency Grants will provide $1,000 for full-time students and $500 for part-time students who meet federal eligibility criteria.
Will the funds first go toward paying any outstanding charges on a student’s account?
No. The CARES Act Emergency Grant will bypass any outstanding charges or debt and go directly to the student.
Will UTA take into consideration a student’s academic standing?
Yes. UTA will focus on students who are in good standing and on track to finish their degrees. The University does not intend to disburse awards to students who are not in good academic standing.
What emergency relief funds are available for undocumented or international students?
While the U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES funding to provide grants to every student, all UTA students can apply and be considered for a grant from UTA’s Emergency Assistance Fund.
Will there be CARES funds for 2020-21?
Currently, our plan is to assist as many students as possible with immediate needs. Beginning with the summer 2020 semester, students are eligible for assistance for the 2020-21 academic year.