CARES Act Eligibility and Application Process

Published: July 10, 2020 | Read Time: 3 minutes

On April 13, Southern Utah University signed and returned to the Department of Education Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On April 24, we received the grant award notification (P425E201490) for the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Under the CARES Act, SUU will receive $5,624,696 in funding, no less than 50% of which will be used to provide emergency cash grants for students. Therefore, $2,812,348 has been allocated for this purpose.

During the Spring semester of 2020, approximately 5099 students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are thus eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. During the Summer semester 1599 students were enrolled and eligible for CARES Act summer.

During the Fall 2020 semester, SUU’s campus operations continued to be disrupted by the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak. To mitigate these risks, SUU opted to hold classes online following the Thanksgiving recess. In addition, classes which may have been scheduled to take place face to face, may have been moved to remote learning following the needs of the instructor. To support students facing these disruptions and the need to access the internet with reliable technology, SUU opened its application process to students enrolled in the Fall semester for those needing support with technology. Approximately 3,876 students are eligible for a Fall semester award.

Due to the revisions of allowable circumstances for which institutions could award CARES Act funds as passed in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, SUU revised it’s awarding criteria to award funding for any expenses students incurred due to the coronavirus or any component of their cost of attendance. In addition, CCRSA allowed SUU to expand it’s award process to include online-only students. Approximately, 6,281 students were eligible for a Spring 2021 HEERF award in the Spring 2021 semester.

From January 1st, 2021 to March 31st, 2021 SUU awarded $557,883 to 541 students.

SUU utilizes an application process to review student expenses, Title IV eligibility, and award emergency grants. SUU’s application is accessible via students’ portal. Utilizing a portal application allows SUU to verify student identity and screen for Title IV eligibility. Title IV eligibility is assessed by the student’s completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

SUU staff members review applications to ensure expenses are connected to the disruption of university operations and note any discrepancies or denial of funding. Specifically, SUU will assesses if an expense is consistent, allowable, reasonable and allocable, in accordance with Uniform Guidance (2 CFR § 200).

SUU will consistently monitor fund utilization as applications are received and reviewed to adjust secondary funding rounds and disburse additional funding to eligible students as promptly as possible.

On May 8, 2020, SUU posted information for students about the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

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Updated: April 13th, 2021

Tags: Coronavirus

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