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CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund FAQ


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

The recently enacted federal CARES Act provides money to colleges and universities for emergency student grants. The purpose of the money is to award emergency grants to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

IMPORTANT: The emergency grants CANNOT be used to replace a loss of income OR to pay for student expenses that are NOT directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The following is a list of expenses that can be considered for grant assistance if they were incurred in "direct relation to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus."

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Course materials—example: cost related to course moving to online
  • Other expenses related to cost of attendance—example: childcare, out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Technology-related expenses – example: purchasing a computer or internet service when courses were moved online
  • Transportation – example: cost related to returning from study abroad when the program was canceled or travel to/from campus when moving out of a residence hall.

Tuition is NOT considered a directly related expense from the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only expenses related to disruption of an on-campus Spring term course you were enrolled in on March 13, 2020, will be considered. Expenses incurred for any other term or online course will not be covered by this emergency grant fund.

Application Instructions

HEERF Application Form

Frequently Asked Questions - CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Do I need to file a 2019-20 FAFSA?

The initial payments to students were based on guidance from the US Department of Education on April 21, 2020 stating only Title IV eligible students could receive these funds. This required that students have a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file. In revised guidance released on May 21, 2020, the Department of Education (ED) pulled an about-face in an updated statement saying it would not enforce the Title IV eligible requirement imposed April 21st because it lacks “the force and effect of law.” Still, it stopped short of opening up grant eligibility to international students, those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and undocumented students, due to statutory language from the 1996 welfare reform law, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, prohibiting them from receiving federal public benefits, such as grants.

Do I need to apply for loans or other aid?

No, you do not need to apply for loans or other aid to receive these funds.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students must meet all of the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Working towards an eligible degree or certificate conferred by UCM.
  • Enrolled on March 13, 2020 in at least one on-campus course in Spring 2020. (Summer 2020 is not included in this grant.)
  • Have incurred expenses as a result of the disruption to campus operations due to COVID-19 circumstances
  • U.S. Citizenship or eligible noncitizen
  • Valid Social Security Number

How much will I receive?

UCM will be awarding an automatic higher education emergency relief grant. This grant is based on the number of Spring term credit hours that an eligible student was enrolled in on March 13, 2020. No application will be needed for these funds. Students that have a FAFSA on file with the Financial Aid office and meet the eligibility requirements will receive the following grant:

12+ Credit Hrs.
9-11 Credit Hrs.
6-8 Credit Hrs.
1-5 Credit Hrs.

An email will be sent to your UCM student email account with the amount and date of when you can expect your payment.

Eligible students will also be given the opportunity to apply for additional emergency grant funds. UCM cannot guarantee that all applications submitted will receive additional funding. Grant funds received by the University are limited and applications will be processed on a first come first serve basis.

The application is expected to be available on May 18th with an application submission deadline of May 31st. After the initial applications are processed, if grant funds are still available, the application process will reopen.

How do I apply for additional higher education emergency relief funds?

Application Process for Additional Emergency Relief Funds

All students were notified on May 19th, through their student email account, about the application form and process. The form was open for submissions through May 31, 2020. The applications are currently being reviewed. If funds are still available after the review round, it may be reopened for additional requests.

When will students know the results of their application for additional grant funds?

Our goal is to award emergency grants as soon as possible. The application process for additional funds will be made available by May 18th with a required submission date of May 31st. After the additional fund’s application has been reviewed by a member of the CARES team, the student will receive a message in their UCM email account notifying them of their outcome. If an amount has been granted, that amount will be included in the email. Award amount decisions are not appealable.

How do students receive their grant money?

Emergency grants will be directly deposited into a student’s bank account if they are currently enrolled in direct deposit. If you are not enrolled, or do not know if you are enrolled, we strongly recommend you go to the UCM Payment Center through your ‘My Central,’ and review your direct deposit setup. Students without direct deposit will receive a refund check in the mail. Allow at least two weeks to receive your check before contacting the CARES team at to track down your check. Make sure your mailing address has been updated if you anticipate receiving a check. The University will work diligently to process applications and process payments on a weekly basis.

What if I owe UCM for tuition or other expenses?

The full amount of the emergency grants will be given directly to the student and will not be applied against outstanding balances owed to UCM. Any outstanding balance owed to UCM will remain the responsibility of the student.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Students should email if they have any additional questions or concerns. Students will need to identify themselves by providing their name, 700# and UCM student email address when emailing Please do not contact Student Financial Services as they can only refer you to the email address provided above. If you have questions about completing a FAFSA, please visit the Applying for Financial Aid website.

Last modified: May 5, 2020


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