Updated Jan. 7, 2021
Background: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or, CARES Act, was passed by Congress and signed by the President on March 27th, 2020. This bill allotted $1.187 million to the Catholic University of America to distributed directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants. A matching $1.187 million was provided to Catholic University to help cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.
This site has been developed to provide transparency to our community on the distribution of these funds to students and how the matching award was utilized by the University. The first quarterly report on institutional usage of these funds can be found here; the second quarterly institutional report can be found here. The remainder of this report is dedicated to reporting on the distribution of emergency financial aid grants to students. Future reports will be issued on a quarterly basis following the latest guidance issued by the Department of Education.
The Catholic University of America signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CARES Act on April 11, 2020. The university intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.
As of December 31, 2020:
The total amount of funds that Catholic University will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students: $1,187,286.
The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission: $1,186,786
The estimated total number of students at Catholic University 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: 2,480.
The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: 848.
As of September 30, 2020:
As of August 12, 2020:
As of June 25, 2020:
As of May, 13, 2020:
Instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. NOTE: All students who were approved for an emergency CARES Act grant after May 6, 2020 received the identical notification dated below from May 6, 2020.
Method(s) used to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act:
Catholic University created a Google-based application that required students to identify both the amount of funding requested and a detailed rationale for their request; this application was only available to students under their Network login credentials. Applicable student data (i.e. student status, student identification number, international status, FERPA on file, degree program type, etc.) from our student information system was matched with each student applicant to determine qualified students. Qualified students were rank ordered (highest to lowest) based upon federal unmet need and expected family contributions. Approved students were awarded the amount that they requested up to a limit of $2,000.
On April 15, 2020, all currently enrolled University students were sent the following instructions via email:
I hope you had a restful Easter break, that you and your family are healthy, and that your studies are going well.
Late last week, we received a notification from the Department of Education that the first installment of our funding from the CARES Act would be available for our use in the near future. 100% of this installment will fund emergency financial assistance for our students. Catholic University will use the funding to provide one-time emergency grants of between $500 and $2,000.
These grants are intended to lessen financial challenges resulting from the current health crisis including travel assistance, emergency medical expenses, expenses related to student virtual learning, overdue utility bills, housing assistance, food insecurity, and more. This funding is not intended to replace or supplement existing financial aid and does not have to be repaid.
All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in campus-based programs who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus pandemic may apply. Students enrolled in fully online degree programs are not eligible.
We will work to address demonstrated needs to the extent funds are available. Priority will be given to students with the highest demonstrated financial need. Students in need of financial assistance should complete this application. Please provide as much detail on your circumstances as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the available funds have been distributed.
Approved applications will have funds placed directly on their student accounts for immediate refund. In order to receive the refund quickly, applicants should ensure that they have direct deposit established on their student account. Students enroll in direct deposit by following these instructions on the Enrollment Services' website.
The University will also allocate funds for one-time need-based tuition assistance grants to help students who have financial distress caused by the pandemic. These grants will help to reduce educational expenses for the upcoming summer sessions and/or the 2020-2021 academic year. Eligibility will be determined from the FAFSA and from the Office of Student Financial Assistance Appeals Form.
Please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for questions about the CARES Act grant program and the Office of Student Financial Assistance aid for questions about tuition assistance grants.
On April 21, 2020, all students who had applied for an emergency grant (to that point in time) were sent the following instructions via email:
Thank you for applying for CARES Act funding through the Student Emergency Fund. I wanted to take a moment and provide you with an update on our process for reviewing grant applications. It is important that you know that these funds are being allocated to the University through the United States Department of Education. By Federal statute, these grants are being provided to students “for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child-care expenses.” This afternoon, the Department of Education released additional guidance that will help guide our review process. Once a decision has been reached regarding your application, we will be in touch.
On May 6, all students who were approved for an emergency grant were sent the following instructions via email:
Thank you for applying for CARES Act funding through the Student Emergency Fund. Late last week, we began awarding funding to approved applicants. The easiest way to determine if you were awarded funds is to visit your student account on Cardinal Station. If approved, you will see “CARES Act Grant” on your account. Funds were distributed to your banking institution if you are signed up for direct deposit and via check if you are not signed up for direct deposit.
As I mentioned in a prior email, these funds are being allocated to the University through the United States Department of Education. By Federal statute, these grants are being provided to students “for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child-care expenses” and it is expected that approved applicants will use these funds accordingly.
If you were awarded a grant, but your situation has changed and you no longer need all or part of the grant, please send a check (with Return of CARES Act Grant in the memo line) to:
Office of the Dean of Students
Washington, DC 20064
We are continuing to work through several hundred applications and will make additional awards in the coming weeks.