CARES Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared that a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak began on March 1, 2020. On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

On April 9, 2020, Secretary DeVos announced funding to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Education has released institutional funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) created in the CARES Act.

As a Concordia University Irvine student, you may be eligible for emergency grants provided to the university from the federal government. The amount provided to the university is limited to $861,799 and will be distributed based on a student's complete CARES Act application.

The CARES Act application for emergency grants is now available to eligible students. Please complete the application and return to CARESAct@cui.edu with any documentation you want our staff to review. The June 1st deadline for applications has been extended until funds are exhausted.

Non-eligible: students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs on March 13, 2020, are not eligible to receive emergency grants. International and DACA students are also excluded from receiving emergency grants.

Eligible students: must meet Title IV eligibility requirements in order to receive HEERF emergency grants. Having an official 2019-20 FAFSA on record determines that a student is eligible to participate in the student aid programs and meets all applicable eligibility requirements.

The university will review all applications as they are received and verify that student eligibility meets federal government guidelines for the disbursement of emergency grants. To expedite receipt of funds, we recommend students sign up for direct deposit and/or verify that your mailing address is accurate in MyRecords.

CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocates funds to support individuals, businesses and organizations nationwide affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. The act includes several sources of funds for colleges and universities, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

What is the CARES Act / Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the Federal Government?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund which sent money to schools to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students whose lives and education have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Do I need to apply for emergency grants?

The CARES Act application for emergency grants is now available to eligible students. Please complete the application and return to CARESAct@cui.edu with any documentation you want our staff to review. The June 1st deadline for applications has been extended until funds are exhausted.

Are international students eligible for the Cares Act?

No. The U.S. Department of Education clarified on Tuesday, April 21 that CARES Act funding is not available to international students.

Are DACA or undocumented students eligible for the Cares Act?

No. The U.S. Department of Education clarified on Tuesday, April 21 that CARES Act funding is not available to DACA or undocumented students.

Are students enrolled in an exclusively online programs eligible for the Cares Act?

No. The U.S. Department of Education clarified on Tuesday, April 21 that CARES Act funding is not available to students enrolled in an exclusively online programs.

How much emergency grant can I request?

The emergency cash grant can vary from $200 to $1000. We will review the applications received and allocate funds based on students’ stated expenses. Funds are limited.

How will students receive funds?

To expedite receipt of funds, we recommend students sign up for direct deposit and/or verify that your mailing address is accurate in MyRecords.

Are there enrollment requirements?

Yes. You must have been registered for Spring 2020 and enrolled at least half time (3 units graduate students and 6 units undergraduate students) to be considered for a CARES Act emergency grants.

Will emergency cash grants be applied to my current Spring 2020 bill?

No. The CARES Act Grant funding cannot be paid towards your bill. These funds will be disbursed directly to you by direct deposit or check mailed via USPS. Once you receive the funds, you can then use them as you see fit. These funds are for your expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Do students have to repay CARES Act emergency grants?

No. CARES Act emergency grants are a grant from the federal government. It is not a student loan and does not have to be repaid.

Will CARES Act funds be taxable income for students?

No. The Treasury Department on Thursday, May 7, released additional guidance on the taxability of emergency grant funding provided to students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stated, in an FAQ document, that these emergency funds provided to students will not count as taxable income. "Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic … are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income," the IRS stated. Although these funds are not taxable, they will be included on your 1098-T for calendar year 2020.

30-Day Fund Report

Under the CARES Act, Concordia University Irvine has received (or anticipates receiving) $1,723,598 in funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), and has signed and returned the required acknowledgement committing to provide no less than 50% of the funding in emergency grants directly to students whose lives and education have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

To determine which students receive emergency grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, Concordia University Irvine created a distribution formula for Title IV eligible (federal aid) students that incorporates Department of Education guidelines, Pell Grant eligibility, and enrollment in the spring 2020 semester. Funding is based on need, as determined by the filed 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Students who did not file a FAFSA this year have until June 30, 2020, to complete the 2019-20 FAFSA to be considered for an emergency grant.

Eligible undergraduate students can receive up to $1,000. Eligible graduate students can receive up to $500. Nearly 1,200 students are eligible to receive emergency grants upon submitting a CARES Act application with qualified expenses. Qualifying expenses due to disruption include, but are not limited to: course materials, technology, food, housing, healthcare, child care, and transportation.

Emergency Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act
Total Amount of Funds Received $1,723,598
Total Amount of Emergency Grants Distributed $331,050
Estimated Total Number of Eligible Students 1,200
Total Number of Students Who Have Received an Emergency Grant 571

Originally posted on May 28, 2020
Updated on October 5, 2020
To be updated every 45 days thereafter

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