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 and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. This funding was designed to help those students with the most need as demonstrated through filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as defined by the federal government.
Consistent with the federal guidelines, in order to distribute the funding as quickly as possible and assist our neediest students, the University used the FAFSA 2019-2020 to determine eligibility. Only students who met these eligibility criteria for federal financial aid were considered for these funds. We informed our neediest students through the campus notification system, and asked those qualified students to certify their eligibility to receive funding, as defined by the CARES Act.
Hofstra University will continue to work to raise funds and assist our community through the pandemic. We are working through changing times and we appreciate your patience and cooperation.
CARES Act FAQ
- What is the CARES/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 and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.
- When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?
As of the week of May 4, we began to notify students of their eligibility. Because we used the FAFSA as the standard for distribution, we were able to release funding directly to qualified students once they certified their eligibility. Eligible students received a text message, as well as an email to their Pride email address.
- Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?
Students who met basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who had the greatest financial need were considered for these funds. Hofstra University used the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine student eligibility.
- What is a Hofstra CARES ACT Relief Grant?
The letter from the Secretary of Education regarding CARES Act funding asked that universities prioritize the neediest students while reaching the widest number of students. Hofstra’s goal was to provide economic relief quickly to students who may have experienced additional expenses in response to the disruption of normal campus operations due to COVID 19. Hofstra directed the CARES Act funding to our neediest students, 2844 in total, providing relief grants between $725 to $1500, based on family income reported on the FAFSA. These funds were meant to help students pay expenses for technology, health care, child care, course materials, rent, food, moving or other expenses incurred after the interruption of our campus operations.
- Why didn’t I receive a Hofstra CARES Act Relief Grant?
Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. If you are eligible for financial aid programs, you probably didn’t receive a grant because you did not meet the criteria of greatest financial need.
For other emergency needs, the Hofstra Student Emergency Assistance fund may be able to help you with emergency aid from other institutional or private donations. These funds are limited and do not generally exceed $500, but we encourage you to apply.
- Will there be CARES funds for 2020-2021?
Hofstra University is advocating for additional federal stimulus money for tuition and more emergency grants funding for universities and students. The status of future funding through more legislative action is not yet clear; however, we will continue to advocate for support for our students.