CARES Act Emergency Grant FAQ

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides financial support to individuals and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). One part of this federal program provides emergency grants to undergraduate and graduate students for unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where are the CARES Act Emergency Grant funds coming from? Is there some sort of disaster relief fund?

The University of New Hampshire was awarded funds from the federal CARES Act, which provides one-time emergency grants for eligible college students who have unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do I know if I qualify for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?

  • Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need will be considered for these funds.
  • CARES Act funds are distributed based upon demonstrated financial need.
  • The CARES Act and U.S. Department of Education guidance prohibit these funds from going to students in exclusively online programs, international students and DACA students.

Am I eligible for an Emergency Grant if I did not apply for financial aid?

No. The university understands there is a great need at this time and that family financial situations have changed since the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNH is using information that was available when COVID-19 disrupted campus operations to meet CARES Act requirements and U.S. Department of Education guidance to distribute funds quickly and based upon demonstrated financial need.

How do I apply for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?

  • Information about applying for these funds will be emailed to eligible students when funding becomes available.
  • Students in UNH programs that are exclusively online along with international students and DACA students are not eligible to receive funds from the CARES Act; emergency funds are available for these UNH students through other funding. Durham and Manchester students should apply for funding thru the Student Emergency Financial Assistance Fund. UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law students should apply by contacting the Assistant Dean for Students for the emergency fund request form.

Does receiving a CARES Act Emergency Grant reduce my financial aid?

No, this fund does not eliminate or replace financial aid. It is a one-time grant.

How much money is available for each eligible student?

Amounts vary; eligibility will be determined once the application is completed. Emergency grants will be between $250 and $700.

How will UNH determine the amount each eligible student will receive?

UNH is following the CARES Act and the U.S. Department of Education guidance which encourage universities to distribute funds to as many eligible students as possible. The dollar amounts reflect the university meeting this federal expectation and the fixed amount available to distribute.

How do I receive my Emergency Grant funds?

  • Eligible students need to complete the application to qualify for the grant funds. Information about applying for these funds will be emailed to eligible students.
  • The funds will be automatically sent to eligible students, once they complete the application.
  • UNH strongly recommends that you set up direct deposit to receive the funds.
  • Eligible students should set up or confirm their direct deposit information in WEBCAT. Under the Billing tab, click on “Request Refund,” then select “Request Direct Deposit Refund to Student.” Direct deposits generally arrive in 4-5 business days.
  • If a direct deposit record does not exist, funds will be mailed to the student’s permanent mailing address. Checks take approximately 2-3 weeks. To update your permanent mailing address email registrars.office@unh.edu from your UNH email account.
  • An instructional powerpoint is available to help you sign up for direct deposit.

I am enrolled in an online program, am I eligible for the Emergency Grant?

The CARES Act and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education state that students enrolled exclusively in online programs are not eligible for emergency grants.

What happens if I do not have expenses now, but I do have expenses later?

  • Eligible students should complete the survey by June 1, 2020, if they have unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency grants will be issued until funding runs out.
  • The CARES Act funds are intended to go to students who have already incurred unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What constitutes eligible expenses to qualify for an Emergency Grant?

This could apply to a variety of financial costs directly tied to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include money spent for additional technology/course requirements, unanticipated travel, replacement of medications, emergency childcare due to extended school closures, etc.

If I receive an Emergency Grant, am I required to report how I used the grant funds?

No, the CARES Act Emergency Grant is reimbursement for the unexpected expenses you had because of the COVID-19 campus operation disruption.

Do I have to repay an Emergency Grant?

No, the CARES Act Emergency Grant funds are designed to be a grant, not a loan.

Do I need to report financial aid or grants on my federal tax return?

Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have separate and unique tax consequences for your federal tax return. Visit the IRS website for assistance.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Contact Financial Aid with questions about CARES Act fund eligibility.

Contact Business Services with questions about receiving your emergency grant funds.