Cares Act – Student Emergency Funding
Under the CARES ACT enacted on March 27th, 2020, higher education institutions received funds to support students and higher education institutions with expenses and financial aid needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If your student needs additional financial assistance after exhausting all other options, they should apply online at their school’s online resources. Students with existing FAFSA applications are being given priority.
Some schools do not require an application as they have identified those that are potentially eligible. If your financial situation has changed, you will need to go back and fill out a FAFSA. If you have not already, file a financial aid petition. Some schools are no longer accepting applications due to an overwhelming demand but may have other university funds available so we recommend continuing to check your schools’ financial aid website.
These funds may be used to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”
Recipient higher education institutions must pay no less than 50 percent of these funds to students as emergency financial aid grants.
Your student should be applying to their individual institution if they need financial assistance. Here we answer some questions regarding tax ramifications.
Is this Grant includible* in income on their tax return?
Emergency financial grants are not includible* in gross income.
Can you claim a tuition credit or fees deduction if receiving these grants?
Because the emergency financial aid grant is not includible* in your gross income, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit.
What type of expenses are covered?
Eligible expenses for CARES Act funding include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical, food, housing, utilities, technology expenses, relocation costs to return home, unexpected childcare, course materials, and other unexpected expenses included in the student’s cost of attendance.
Do you need to fill out a FAFSA form to apply?
Yes. If you have not filled out the form, you will want to fill out for the year 2019-2020 for the 2020 Spring and Summer semesters. We also recommend going ahead and completing the 2020-2021 application for the next school year if you have not already done so. You can fill it out online or using the myStudentAid app which you can then fill out on a smartphone.
How much funding will a student receive?
Award amounts vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances.
Learn more about the CARES Act including how much went to your student’s university and pass on these great tips, tell your friends, and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.