CARES Act funding split between students, university

Ruben Fields
May 23, 2020

Brigham Young University has turned down a $32 million emergency fund that had been earmarked for the school as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This federal legislation provides financial support to students who qualify.

On May 6, 2020, the total number of students at Hamline who were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and thus eligible to receive a CARES Act emergency financial award, was determined to be 2,165, which included 1,647 undergraduate and 518 graduate students. That resulted in grants totaling $692,915 distributed to 507 eligible students, the school said in a post on its website.

The Hawai'i Department of Education has received more than $43 million in new federal funding to help local schools retain their workforces, transition to online learning and provide services for students during this public health crisis - especially those in low-income and underserved communities - according to a press release from the office of US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i). They had to have a completed FAFSA for the current academic year. Each eligible student was invited to complete an application, indicating their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Once the application is submitted, it will be evaluated to verify eligibility. It does not reduce, negate or replace financial aid.

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"If institutions interpret this to exclude students who have not filed a FAFSA, many student veterans will be left out", the group said, noting that students who receive GI Bill benefits do not apply for regular student aid.

The group also cited its January 2019 report on veteran student loan debt, which found that a higher proportion of undergraduate veterans at for-profit schools had federal student loan debt compared to other institutional sectors. "Another allowable expense is if a student using the CTC Child Development Center is required to pay a higher fee for childcare services than that charged by the CTC". This funding is created to help students experiencing unexpected financial issues based on a documented need. Students do not receive any payments through Eagle Aid as all payments are made directly to a vendor such a utility supplier.

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