Federal CARES Act Student Emergency Program

The U.S. Department of Education is requiring institutions that are receiving funds from the CARES Act, to disclose the following information: 

Certification and Agreement:   

The University at Albany has signed and returned the certification and agreement form to the United States Department of Education to receive emergency financial aid grants to students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds will assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.   

In addition, the University at Albany has signed and returned the certification and agreement form to the United States Department of Education (ED) to receive support under the Institutional Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) section of the CARES Act. These funds shall help the University cover costs incurred due to COVID-19. In accordance with guidance from ED, "Institutions may reimburse themselves for refunds previously made to students on or after March 13, 2020, if those refunds were necessitated by significant changes to the delivery of instruction, including interruptions in instruction, due to the coronavirus."

 

Amount of Funds:

The University at Albany has applied for and been allocated $8,031,991 for student emergency purposes related to costs incurred by students due to the disruption of operations due to coronavirus.    

 

Amount Distributed to Students: 

As of July 07, 2020, the University has awarded $4,077,300 to 5,403 Title IV eligible students. Please continue to monitor your albany.edu email address and MyUAlbany for updates regarding the status of your award.   

 

Estimated Total Number of Eligible Students Under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965:

We estimate approximately 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students are Title IV eligible and may receive an emergency assistance grant under the CARES Act. United States Department of Education guidelines state only students who are or could be eligible to participate in federal Title IV aid may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you complete the FAFSA for both 2019-20 and 2020-2021 years.

The criteria to participate in Title IV federal programs include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting. 

 

Total Number of Students Who Have Received Assistance: 

As of July 07, 2020, the University has awarded 5,403 Title IV eligible students an emergency financial aid grant under the CARES Act. 

 

Methodology:

The United States Department of Education stated the socioeconomic status of students must be considered when awarding grants. As such, priority was given to Pell Grant recipients who demonstrate the greatest financial need, or those with a 0 (zero) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA.  Emergency block grant funds will also be available to students with an EFC of 1 - 25,576. Students with an EFC greater than 25,576 may request funding by emailing FAO_CARES_ACT@albany.edu

Funds will be awarded to eligible students once they certify and attest they have incurred or will incur expenses relation to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  Students must certify and attest that they incurred or will incur expenses related to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare. Funding amounts are based upon an institutional matrix that considers the EFC and/or the student’s itemized request for assistance.   

 

Instructions, Directions, and Guidance for Students:

In order to be eligible for CARES Act funding, students must be Title IV eligible. Eligible students will be contacted, via email, to determine if they incurred or will incur expenses related to disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  Eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance include:  food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. 

Eligible students who certify and attest that they have incurred or will incur eligible expenses will be sent an emergency grant electronically via the E-Refund function on E-Pay.  Electronic refunds will take seven to ten business days to process.   If a student does not have an E-Refund account, funds will be disbursed via paper-check. Please note: paper-checks will take longer to process and receive.  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.  

Students requesting (additional) support from the federal CARES Act Student Emergency Fund may submit a supplemental questionnaire.  This application is critical to highlight how students were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will assist in awarding funds to students who have incurred or will incur 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 and enter “CARES Act Request” in the subject line.

Should you have additional questions regarding the CARES Act emergency assistance for students, please contact: FAO_CARES_ACT@albany.edu or call (518) 44-CARES

 

Eligibility for Title IV Aid:

According to federal regulations (Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA)) a student is eligible for federal Title IV financial aid if all of the following criteria are met:
 

  1. Be enrolled in a degree, certificate or other recognized educational credential (including a program of study abroad approved for credit by the eligible institution at which such student is enrolled) – that is, a regular student under 34 CFR 600.2);
     

  2. Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school and have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
     

  3. Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP); 
     

  4. Not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants;
     

  5. Not be in default on a Title IV loan;
     

  6. File with ED “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification (Statement of Educational Purpose) that includes: a) A statement of educational purpose, and b) The student’s Social Security Number (SSN);
     

  7. Be a U.S citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen;
     

  8. Have returned any fraudulently obtained Title IV funds, if the student is convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges;
     

  9. Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits;
     

  10. Have repaid any Title IV loan overpayment amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits, if obtained inadvertently;
     

  11. Have his Selective Service registration verified (the Title IV aid ineligibility for failure to register is actually in the Selective Service Act §3811(f));
     

  12. Have a valid SSN, except for residents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau; and
     

  13. Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.