CARES Act Grants

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal effort that includes provisions designed to deliver emergency assistance to students and higher ed institutions impacted by the coronavirus.

Institutions must use at least 50% of the funds received under the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

Read federal reporting information about the student emergency grant component of the CARES Act.

 

How do I know if I’m eligible?

In order to receive CARES Act funding, students must have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determined to be Title IV eligible.  The CARES Act is designed to assist students with the highest financial need as determined by the (FAFSA. Emails were sent to students eligible for CARES Act funding based upon their socioeconomic circumstance as determined by Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA. If you haven’t completed a FAFSA you must file the 2019-2020 FAFSA by June 30, 2020 to if you are eligible for CARES Act funds.

What if I didn’t file a FAFSA? Can I still file?

In order to be considered for CARES Act funding for the spring 2020 semester, you must file the 2019-2020 FAFSA by June 30, 2020. 

To be considered for CARES Act funding for future semesters, you must complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. We encourage you to complete this application as soon as possible.

What are eligible expenses?

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

How much will my grant be?

Grants are awarded to Title IV eligible students based on their socioeconomic circumstance as determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA. To determine the amount of your assistance, review your financial aid summary on MyUAlbany

If you did not receive a grant, or would like to request additional assistance, please refer to the question, ‘What if I had expenses that were higher than my grant?’ (below)

I received an email that I’m eligible for an emergency grant. How long do I have to submit my certification and attestation?

You have three weeks from the date the email was sent to you to reply. Should we not receive a reply within this timeframe, we will assume you have chosen to not receive a grant or have not incurred any eligible expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. 

If I owe money to the University at Albany, will I still receive a CARES Act Grant?

Having an outstanding account balance does not preclude you from receiving a grant.

Can the University apply my CARES Act grant to any outstanding balance I owe?

No, the University is prohibited from using funds to pay an outstanding account balance as per program guidelines established by the United States Department of Education.

What do I have to do to receive a grant?

If you received an email from the University outlining the CARES Act, the eligibility criteria, and the list of eligible expense categories, you must determine if you incurred or will incur eligible expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  If you have incurred or will incur eligible expenses and would like to receive a grant, you must click the link provided in the email.  You will be directed to a form where you will be asked to enter your name, the date, and certify if you have or will incur eligible expenses click ‘Yes.’ If you have not incurred or will not incur eligible expenses, or do not wish to receive a grant, please click the link provided in the email and select ‘No.’

I submitted my certification and attestation. When will I receive my grant?

Once you certify and attest that you have incurred or will incur eligible expenses due to coronavirus it will take up to seven business days for students who have signed up for the E-Refund function on E-Pay.  Grants for students who are not signed up for the E-Refund function of E-Pay will take longer to process.  

How will I receive my grant?

Eligible students who certify and attest that they have incurred eligible expenses will be sent an emergency grant electronically via the E-Refund function on E-Pay.  Electronic funds will take up to seven business days to process.   If a student does not have an E-Refund account, funds will be disbursed via paper check, which could take up to 14 days.  

How do I sign up for E-Refund on E-Pay?

To set up an E-Refund account and receive your grant earlier, visit E-Pay and select the E-Refund link. You will need your banking routing and account numbers to set up your E-Refund account.  

I responded to the form – did you get my response?

Students who received an email from the University and submitted a certification and attestation will receive a confirmation page. Please download the PDF that is provided for your files.

What if I had expenses that were higher than my grant?

Students requesting additional support from the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund may submit a supplemental application.  This application provides you the opportunity to highlight how you incurred or will incur eligible expenses due to the impact of the coronavirus and will assist the university in awarding funds to students who have incurred additional eligible expenses. Emergency assistance for eligible expenses will be provided in accordance with institutional policy and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. Please understand that funds are limited and therefore, we are unable to guarantee requests for additional funding.

   
Students interested in requesting additional funds should email: 

FAO_CARES_ACT@Albany.edu  Please indicate: “CARES Act Request” in the subject line.

Students submitting a request for additional funds will be provided with a supplemental form which will request information about the eligible expenses incurred or will incur.  Students must certify and attest to the information provided.

Requests from eligible students for supplemental funds will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will take longer to process. 

I have additional questions. Who can I contact?

You can contact the CARES Act Team:  FAO_CARES_ACT@Albany.edu or 518-44CARES (518.442.2737), M-F 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.