CARES Act: FAQs

The Department of Education requires that each institution report how it utilized its CARES Act funding within 30 days of drawing funds down. Emory will post the required report to our website on August 25.

• Q: What is the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
• A: The Department of Education set up a fund to support students and institutions through the CARES Act. The first portion of that allocated fund – the student portion – must be paid directly to students. The second portion of that fund – the institutional portion – can be utilized by the institution for various expenses that stem from the COVID-19 pandemic. Emory will be distributing those funds to eligible students as well – details to follow.

• Q: Why is Emory accepting the CARES Act higher education emergency relief fund (HEERF) money?
• A: Emory University is actively pursuing every opportunity to provide financial support to students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Emory will use all of the nearly $8 million to support students facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19, surpassing the federal requirement that half the money be allocated to students.

• Q: How will Emory distribute the CARES Act funds from the Department of Education?
• A: Emory will use existing need-based financial aid information to distribute the funds, so there is no additional application process for students and families.

• Q: When will students know if they’re receiving this support?
• A: Emory has notified eligible students directly about the student portion of the CARES Act. (We will notify eligible students directly for the institutional portion in the next month as well.) CARES Act funds will be distributed as grants to students. Students will need to set up direct deposit with Emory, or they will receive a paper check. Payments will be made to students within 30 days of Emory receiving the funds from the federal government.

• Q: Under federal rules, undocumented students are not eligible for CARES funds. What is Emory doing to support these students?
• A: Under federal rules, DACA and undocumented students are not eligible for CARES funds because of their citizenship status. As with other financial aid awards to DACA and undocumented students, Emory will use institutional funds to support those who meet all other requirements for the program.

• Q: Is there a second portion to the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – the institutional portion?
• A: Yes. The CARES Act has an institutional portion. Emory will disburse these funds directly to traditional undergraduate students with need. These students must also have been enrolled in Spring 2020 and in Fall 2020, seeking their first bachelor’s degree in Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College, Goizueta Business School, or Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing). More details about this portion will follow within the next month.

• Q: Will some students receive money twice through the CARES funds?
• A: Some undergraduate students may receive money through Phase 1 (student portion) and Phase 2 (institutional portion) of the awards.

• Q: Why did I not receive a portion of CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for students?
• A: Students were required to be enrolled at Emory in Spring 2020 semester, have a completed FAFSA for Spring 2020, have an expected family contribution for Fall/Spring (based on the 2019-20 FAFSA) of $9,500 or less.

• Q: What is Emory doing to support students and families who don’t qualify for the federal money?
• A: We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many families’ financial situations and in response, Emory is holding undergraduate tuition at 2019-2020 rates for the coming year.