The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which has provided the University of Southern Indiana with $2.9 million for emergency financial aid grants to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.
The Department of Education has established eligibility guidelines that students must meet in order to be eligible for an award.
- Students must have been enrolled in a degree seeking program at USI
Grants range from $200 to $800 depending upon enrollment status and Pell Grant eligibility. Students displaced from University housing were awarded an extra $200.
Under Department of Education guidelines, some students are not eligible for an award such as international students, DACA students, students who took all distance education and students who were not meeting general Title IV eligibility requirements.
The CARES Act does not allow the University to apply funds to a student’s past due balance. Students who did not qualify for the first distribution of CARES monies may still be eligible for future assistance. The University is currently developing guidelines and an application for students to apply for additional emergency funds. Announcements about additional funding will be posted at www.usi.edu/covid-19 as they become available.
- Do I have to repay a CARES Act grant? These funds are a grant, not a loan. There is no requirement to repay the grant funds.
- Will this funding reduce my financial aid? This is a one-time grant that does not reduce financial aid.
- How will the CARES grant impact my taxes? As with all financial assistance, federal grants received will have separate and unique tax consequences for your individual federal tax return. Visit the IRS website for more information
- Where can I go if I have more questions? If you have any additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Education has established eligibility guidelines that students must meet in order to be considered for an award. Students must have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 19/20 academic year to confirm Title IV eligibility, which is a requirement for receiving an emergency grant. If you have not filed a FAFSA, you may file through June 30, 2020 at fafsa.gov.
If you feel you meet the above criteria, you may submit an application for emergency grant funds by clicking this link CARES Act/HEERF Emergency Grant Fund Application. Applications will be reviewed in the order of receipt. You will receive a response regarding the decision once your application has been reviewed. We ask for your patience as this process my take several weeks.
Reporting as of July 16, 2020
- The University of Southern Indiana acknowledges that we have signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement. USI intends to use no less than 50% of the funds under the CARES Act as emergency financial aid grants to students.
- Total amount of funds we will receive or have received from the Department for emergency grants for students totals $2,945,141.
- Total amount of CARES Act emergency grant funds distributed to date is $2,816,000.
- The estimated total number of students eligible for Title IV aid and thus eligible for emergency grants for students is 4,798.
- The total number of students who have received an emergency grant under the CARES Act totals 4,798.
- Grants were distributed in a formulated approach based upon enrollment and Pell Grant eligibility as determined by the submission of the 2019-2020 FAFSA. Awards were distributed to students who were registered in the Spring 2020 semester, Summer 1 session and/or Summer 2 session and eligible for Federal Title IV Financial Aid at that time.
- Instructions related to the emergency grants are provided on the USI website and students were sent emails outlying what the funding is intended to be used for and the approach the University used to determine each award.