As a result of the CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Certification and Agreement that Colorado State University signed and submitted to the Department of Education in April, CSU was granted $8.8 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. At least 50 percent of the funds received from the CARES Act will be allocated directly to students in the form of Emergency Financial Aid Grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

As of July 1st 2020, CSU has disbursed a total of $6,145,000 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 5,399 students. An estimated total of 17,056 students at CSU are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Awards range from $500-$1,500 depending on demonstrated financial need provided in a student’s financial aid application. More details about how this program works at CSU and eligibility for funds is available below. For more information on the HEER, please visit the Department of Education’s CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund page.

What is the CARES Act Emergency Aid Grant?

The CARES Act provides funds to institutions of higher education to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of university operations due to coronavirus. CSU was granted $8.8 million in emergency grant funding that will be allocated directly to students in need.  

Where can I apply for this grant?

The CARES Act Emergency Aid Application for spring 2020 is now closed. Information about grants for fall 2020 will be forthcoming. 

How will students receive this money?

CARES grants will be sent directly to students who meet the eligibility criteria for the award. Emergency grants will bypass any existing balance a student may have with the university, and be sent directly to students via direct deposit or mailed check. Students may update their refund preference on the billing page of their RAMweb.  

How much will a typical award be?

Awards will range from $500-$1,500 depending on demonstrated financial need provided in a student’s aid application. 

Who is eligible for this award?

The CARES Act Emergency Aid Application for spring 2020 is now closed. Information about grants for fall 2020 will be forthcoming. 

Students must have a FAFSA on file with the university to be considered for an emergency grant, as the Office of Financial Aid uses a student’s aid application to determine eligibility for grant funding. In addition, funding prioritization will be directed toward students who demonstrate the most significant financial need.

Students who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA will not be considered for this award, per federal guidance. Additionally, students must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and be enrolled through a main campus regular instruction degree program to be eligible. The US Department of Education has communicated that students admitted solely to online degree programs are not eligible at this time.

We do encourage any students who are not eligible for CARES funds to contact the Office of Financial Aid for alternative solutions if they’ve experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; we’re here to help.

I am an online student, can I receive the CARES grant?

Students also must be enrolled through a main campus regular instruction degree program to be eligible. The US Department of Education has communicated that students admitted solely to online degree programs are not eligible at this time. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for alternative solutions; we’re here to help.

What is the processing time for these applications? When will students receive their refund if granted an award?

The CARES Act Emergency Aid Application for spring 2020 is now closed. Information about grants for fall 2020 will be forthcoming. 

Students should receive a decision regarding their award status within 5 business days of submitting their application. The refund will be sent immediately once the grant has been awarded.

Under what circumstances might a student not qualify for this funding?

A student who does not demonstrate financial need, or who is ineligible to complete the FAFSA, will not be granted this funding. Additionally, those who are admitted solely to online degree programs are not eligible at this time, nor are students who are currently not making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students will have the opportunity to appeal the decision with the Office of Financial Aid if they are initially denied due to not demonstrating financial need. Those who do not meet the eligibility criteria should reach out to the Office of Financial Aid for alternative solutions; we’re here to help.