CARES Act Relief Fund FAQs
- What is Cares Act Relief Fund?
As a result of Congress passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, DSU has been allocated $2,782,960 in emergency relief funds to assist eligible students who incurred “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.”
- Who is eligible for funds?
Students receiving these funds must meet the eligibility criteria is Section 484 of the Title IV Higher Education Act. This includes, but is not limited to, the demonstration of the following: be making satisfactory academic progress; not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans; not be in default on a Title IV loan; file “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes statement of educational purpose and valid Social Security Number, be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen; have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges; not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits; have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently; have Selective Service registration verified (if student is a male); not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations. While this does not specify students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the only way to determine if a student meets the Section 484 requirements is for a FAFSA to be filed.
- Do I need to complete a FAFSA to receive CARES Act Funds?
While the CARES Act does not specify students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the only way to determine if a student meets the Section 484 requirements is for a FAFSA to be filed. Delaware State University will confirm all students (excluding 2020 Spring graduates) have completed a 2020=21 FAFSA before funds are released. Students who have not filed a FAFSA and would like to be considered for CARES Act funds, should immediately file a 2019-20 and 2020-21 FAFSA. The 2019-20 FAFSA must be processed no later than June 30, 2020.
- What are the types of expenses covered by the CARES ACT Relief fund?
CARES Act funds can be awarded to students for “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.” This may include items such as rent, food, utilities, school related technology and/or supplies (e.g., internet, tutoring, computer issues, etc.), or healthcare needs (e.g., medication, counseling, etc.)
- I have not incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 but have experienced a reduction of income in my household due to the virus. Can this be taken into consideration when developing my financial aid package for the 2020-21 academic year?
At times, an income change can lead to increased financial aid eligibility for a student. Other times, it does not. The only way to find out how an income change will impact your eligibility is to go through the Professional Judgment process in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. You can find information about that process in the Financial Aid Appeals (Professional Judgment ) section of our website. CARES Act funding cannot be awarded on the basis of an income reduction.
- Can I request CARES Act funds for the Fall 2020 semester?
At this time, DSU is scheduled to be open for the Fall 2020 term and return to normal operations. As a result, there would not be any qualifying campus disruptions due to COVID-19 to warrant our ability to award funds for that term.
- I graduated at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Can I still receive assistance from expenses incurred during that time?
Yes, students who had qualifying expenses during that term are still eligible to receive assistance.
- Do I need to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to receive funds?
Yes, to be considered for CARES Act funding, you must meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
- Am I guaranteed to receive funding from the CARES Act if I submit an individual appeal or file a FAFSA late?
No. Funding is limited. Awards will be made as long as funds are available.
- I received a $500 award through CARES Act Funding, but I have additional expenses. Can I submit an appeal to receive more funding?
No. Due to the limited funding we received and the desire to assist as many students as possible, the maximum amount any student can receive is $500.
- How long before I receive funds after I am awarded?
While we cannot give you a specific timeframe on when you will receive your funds, we can say that the disbursements to you will be generated as quickly as possible.
- How will I receive funds?
Students will receive these funds via mailed check, through the refund process established in the University Business Office.
- I have an outstanding tuition/housing balance for spring semester and/or charges for summer classes; can these funds be applied to that balance?
No, the funds will be refunded directly to you. DSU is not allowed to apply these funds to any outstanding charges, even if student wishes to provide authorization to do so.
- I am admitted and enrolled as an on-line student in an online program at DSU; do I qualify for CARES Act funds?
You are not eligible for CARES Act funds if you were enrolled exclusively in an on-line program on March 13, 2020. However, if you were enrolled in a combination of online and in-person classes, you are eligible.
- Are students enrolled in a certificate program eligible for CARES Act funds?
No, only students enrolled in a degree-seeking program are eligible.
- Can Undocumented Students and International Students receive fund under the CARES act?
No, international and undocumented students are not eligible for CARES Act funding.
- Is money I receive from the Cares Act taxable?
According the IRS website, “Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.”
- Will the CARES Act funds effect other aid that I have already received?
No, CARES Act funds will not reduce your financial aid package.