CARES Act Federal Relief Aid
Wilkes students experiencing financial hardship due to the disruption of campus operations caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), can apply for consideration of a one-time emergency grant available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
CARES Act aid may be used for expenses incurred because of the disruption of campus operations. This includes:
- Course materials
- Health care
- Child care
Applications will be considered from:
- Wilkes undergraduate or graduate students;
- enrolled in the spring 2020 semester;
- pursuing a degree on a half- or full-time basis;
- that met on campus prior to the transition to remote learning on March 13.
Per the U.S. Department of Education, international students and students enrolled exclusively in online courses on March 13, 2020 are not eligible to receive CARES Act funding.
How to apply
If not already submitted, applicants must complete a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The deadline date for submission of the 2019-2020 FAFSA is June 30, 2020.
- Students can apply for funding only once through the CARES Act.
- Funding is limited and is not guaranteed. Beginning late May, 2020, a committee will review applications on a rolling basis until the grant funding is exhausted.
- Applications will be reviewed by a committee. Students will be notified via e-mail with the result of the committee’s evaluation.
- If awarded, the assistance will be in the form of a direct payment to the student. It will not be applied toward any current balance owed on a student’s account.
Read below or contact the Office of Student Financial Services at (570) 408-4512 or email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. A section of this package is dedicated to higher education institutions. Wilkes University received $2.4 million in aid, in which $1.2 million will go directly to support students through emergency grants. These grants are intended to provide economic relief, quickly, to students who may have incurred additional expenses in the spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19 disruption of campus operations.
Who is eligible to apply for CARES Act Emergency Relief Grants?
Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need can be considered for these funds. The Office of Student Financial Services will use 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA, have not yet filed and need this grant assistance, please submit a FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov by June 30, 2020.
Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to undergraduate, graduate and professional students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at Wilkes University during the spring 2020 semester. Students must have been in enrolled at least half-time to be considered for emergency grants.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.
What kind of expenses can I be compensated for?
The emergency grants are meant to help students pay expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care, moving costs or other expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.
How do I apply?
In addition to the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you must submit a CARES Act Student Application for Emergency Aid found here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and until grant funds are exhausted.
When will funds be available?
Grants will be disbursed beginning in late May 2020. Once your application is received, you will be notified of a decision from the Office of Student Financial Services via your Wilkes email.
If I am awarded a grant, how will I receive funding?
For students who have signed up for direct deposit with the Wilkes University Bursar’s Office, funding will be sent to the financial institution via an electronic funds transfer. For students not enrolled in direct deposit, checks will be mailed.
If you wish to sign up for electronic refunds, you can do so on the Wilkes portal by clicking “eRefund” under “My Account” on the student services page.
Do I have to pay this back?
No. Any funds a student receives from the CARES Act will not need to be repaid.
Does this count against my financial aid package?
No. Grants from the CARES Act is not considered student financial aid under federal statute or Department of Education regulations. As such, these funds will not impact your eligibility for traditional financial aid (e.g. grants, scholarships, loans).
Is funding received from the CARES Act considered taxable income?
No. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that emergency grants under the CARES Act are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code and are not considered taxable income.
Can I apply more than once?
You can only apply for funding once through the CARES Act.
Will there be additional CARES Act funding in the future?
At this point, we are only aware of the existing award outlined above. We will continue to monitor these funds and any future federal assistance that may benefit Wilkes students.