CARES Act Reporting

CARES Act Reporting

On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748), which provides emergency relief funds to organizations and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), found in Section 18004 of the CARES Act, provides funding to institutions of higher education “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” On December 27, 2020 the President of the United States signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA). The CARES II Act provides funding to institutions of higher education “to provide additional funding to students who have exceptional need.” The following information is provided in order to comply with the reporting requirements under the CARES Act and CARES II Act.

Certification

Wilkes University signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students on April 13, 2020. Wilkes will use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Award

Wilkes University received a total of $2,403,446 under Section 18004(a)(1) of HEERF. $1,201,723 was distributed directly to students impacted by campus disruptions due to the Coronavirus thereby satisfying the requirement that at least 50% of the total funds received be used to support grants to students.

Wilkes University subsequently received a total of $2,403,446 through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA). $1,201,723 in grants were distributed directly to students who demonstrated exceptional financial need.

Student Eligibility

The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.*

2,914

* For the purposes of this report, institutions may determine the number of eligible students based on the number of students for whom the institution has received an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) plus the number of students who completed an alternative application form developed by the institution for this purpose.

Grants distributed to students under CARES I Emergency Grants – HEERF I as of August 31, 2020 - Final Report

Total amount of funds Wilkes has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students

$1,201,723

Total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students

$1,201,723

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant

896

Grants distributed to students under CARES II Emergency Grants – HEERF II as of June 30, 2021 - Final Report

Total amount of funds Wilkes has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students

$1,201,723

Total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students

$1,201,723;

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant

506

Method Used to Determine Students’ Eligibility

CARES I:

In order to be considered, in addition to a formal CARES Act Student Application for Emergency Aid, a student must have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA was used to establish Title IV eligibility and to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Preference for funding was given to students whose EFC met the federal Pell Grant or PA State Grant definition of financially needy. (The PA State Grant definition was also applied to non-PA. residents). A percentage of the amount requested by students on the CARES Act application for expenses related to the cost of attendance was awarded in CARES I funding based upon the EFC (i.e. the lower the EFC, the higher the percentage awarded). Caps were established for the amount awarded for each component of the cost of attendance.

An announcement was posted on the University’s COVID website relative to the availability of CARES I funding and included a link to the application.

CARES II:

Students were categorized into groups and funding was made available in the following rank order:

Group 1a: Block funding was automatically awarded to students with an Expected Family Contribution of $0. Full time students in that category were awarded $2000; part time students were awarded $1000.

 GROUP Ib. Concurrent with the awarding of block funding to students in GROUP1a, students submitting Special Circumstance Forms in which they indicated that the change in family circumstances was directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic were automatically considered for CARES II funding. 

(In addition to the automatic block funding, students in Groups 1a and 1b were provided with the opportunity to apply for additional funding through a formal application process).

GROUP 2: Via e-mail, Pell eligible students with an EFC other than 0 were invited to apply for CARES II funding if their family had financial needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. A formal electronic application for funding was made available to the students. The application summarized some of the various expenses eligible for possible reimbursement (elements of the student’s cost of attendance). Caps were established for the amount awarded for each component of the cost of attendance.

GROUP 3. Since funding was not exhausted through awards made to students in Groups 1 and 2, undergraduate students who were not Pell eligible but had an EFC of 15,000 or lower were invited to apply for CARES II funding if their family had financial needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. A formal application was provided to the students at that time.

Information for Students

Guidance was provided to students on the University’s COVID-19 site and also sent to students via direct e-mail. Students were also able to contact the Office of Student Financial Services directly at (570) 408-4512 or financialaid@wilkes.edu.