CARES Act Emergency Grants

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Elmhurst College has been authorized to distribute emergency cash grants to students as part of the funding allocated in the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

Elmhurst College has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement, assuring to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants directly to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elmhurst College has received $1,660,323 through the CARES Act for this purpose.

Elmhurst College has established a committee to facilitate the distribution of this emergency funding while adhering to the regulations established by the Department of Education. The College intends to distribute the majority of this funding as quickly as possible in order to provide maximum benefit to the students impacted by COVID-19. The College is required to spend its share of the funding within one year.

Reporting DateGrant Funds DistributedNumber of Students Receiving Funds
5/25/2020$1,631,750.002,440
7/9/2020
8/23/2020
10/7/2020

Eligibility Requirements

  • Enrolled in a degree or certificate program during Spring Term 2020
  • Not enrolled in an online-only program
  • Completed a valid 2019-20 FAFSA (which the College has received)
  • Completed any required federal FAFSA verification
  • Is making satisfactory academic progress
  • Does not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans
  • Is not in default on a Title IV loan
  • Is a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen
  • Has Selective Service registration verified
  • Has Social Security Number verified
  • Meets other eligibility requirements as established by the 2019-20 FAFSA

Additionally, a student’s 2019-20 FAFSA EFC and Spring 2020 academic level will be considered in determining eligibility amounts for students meeting the above criteria.

Definition of a Qualifying Situation

The purpose of the emergency funds distributed by Elmhurst College as part of the CARES Act is to assist students with unexpected costs due to the disruption of campus operations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Food, including groceries and meals
  • Housing costs and living expenses due to relocation or other circumstances
  • Health care and/or child care costs
  • Technology-related expenses, such as computer equipment or internet access
  • Course materials
  • Unexpected transportation or moving expenses related to relocation

Examples of Qualifying Situations to Include on the Application

Food expenses may include unexpected grocery expenses for a resident student who was depending on their meal plan to eat for the semester. Or increased grocery expenses for a student supporting dependent children now home due to their school or child care closure.

Housing expenses may include unanticipated expenses in securing housing and/or rent for residential students after the closure of campus housing. This may also include difficulty in making rent or mortgage payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.

Healthcare expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual medical expenses due to coronavirus or its effects.

Technology expenses may include computer equipment, internet access expenses, printer supplies, etc. required for student success when transitioning to an online format from the traditional in-person class structure. Documentation for technology expenses must be uploaded in the application to be considered. Examples would be an estimate, receipt, or bill.

Course materials may include but are not limited to general use supplies such as writing utensils and notebooks; course-specific supplies such as calculators, lab equipment, rental of musical equipment, paintbrushes, and canvases; unexpectedly required to be purchased due to campus disruption of regular operations.

Child care/dependent care expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual care expenses for a student’s child or other dependents in the independent (as defined by FAFSA) student’s household.

Transportation expenses related to the disruption of campus operations: This may include additional trips to the University to retrieve personal belongings, or even difficulty in making car payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Students meeting the above eligibility requirements will automatically be considered for the emergency funds.

If you feel you were not impacted by the disruption, you are encouraged to return the funds for distribution to other student(s). Please contact caresact@elmhurst.edu for details.

Per the Department of Education’s guidance, only students who are eligible to participate in Federal Title IV programs may receive CARES Act funds. Therefore, if you already filed a FAFSA and are receiving Title IV aid, then you may be eligible for CARES Act funds.

Eligibility is based on guidance from the Department of Education. Only students who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA, provided they meet other established criteria. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting. Additionally, Elmhurst College requires a student to:

  • Be enrolled in a degree or certificate program during the Spring 20 semester
  • Not be enrolled in an online-only program
  • Have completed any required federal FAFSA verification
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress
  • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan

If you are not eligible for Title IV aid as determined by completing a FAFSA, then you will not be considered for CARES Act funds. However, Elmhurst College has separate emergency grant funds, made possible from the generosity of donors and friends of the University, that may be available to help you. Please contact caresact@elmhurst.edu for details.

The emergency CARES Act funds are not considered financial aid, but we want to consider your special circumstance as it relates to your FAFSA (if applicable). If you, a spouse, or a parent experienced job loss, or wage or savings reduction associated with the economic impact of the coronavirus, it is recommended that you contact the Office of Student Financial Services to discuss the details of your situation. It may be an option to request a Special Circumstances appeal to determine if you are eligible for additional federal funds.

The purpose of the emergency funds distributed by Elmhurst College as part of the CARES Act is to assist students with unexpected costs due to the disruption of campus operations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). These costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Food including groceries and meals
  • Housing costs and living expenses due to relocation or other circumstances
  • Health care and/or child care costs
  • Technology-related expenses such as computers or internet access
  • Course materials
  • Unexpected transportation or moving expenses related to relocation

Additional details can be found in the example section above.

At this time, Elmhurst Colleges does not require students to provide any information as it relates to the receipt or usage of these emergency funds.

Students meeting the above eligibility requirements will automatically be considered for the emergency funds. Additionally, a student’s 2019-20 FAFSA EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) and Spring 2020 academic level will be considered in determining eligibility amounts for students meeting the above criteria.

FAFSA EFC GroupsAmount
Group 1: 0$1,000.00
Group 2: 1 to 5,576$1,000.00
Group 3: 5,577 to 9,999$500.00
Group 4: 10,000 to 14,999$500.00
Group 5: 15,000 to 19,999$350.00
Group 6: 20,000 and above$250.00
Group 7: Graduate$500.00

No, these funds are considered to be emergency grant awards and do not need to be repaid to the federal government or the College.

No, students who receive CARES Act funds are not required to record or track how it is spent.

Limited funds may be available and we will consider requests for additional money. We can make no guarantees that additional funds will be available to those that request it. Please contact caresact@elmhurst.edu for details.

Elmhurst College will begin distributing money to eligible students once we confirm receipt from the Department of Education. Funds will then be issued via ACH to those who have a refund account set up on TouchNet or via check mailed to your permanent address on file at the time of issue. Time may vary depending on your situation.

Funds will then be issued via ACH to those who have a refund account set up on TouchNet or via check mailed to your permanent address on file at the time of issue.

No, the College cannot apply any CARES Act funds towards an outstanding balance on a student’s account. These cash grants must be disbursed directly to the student. Any applicable outstanding balance due will still remain your responsibility after the disbursement of this emergency grant.

You can make a payment on your outstanding balance at any time. However, please note that CARES Act emergency cash grants were intended to be used by students to cover emergency expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. Elmhurst College will not withhold any CARES Act funds to cover balances.

CARES Act funds cannot be used to offset lost income but can be used to help towards expenses incurred due to that lost income if those expenses were due to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. It is recommended that you contact the Office of Student Financial Services to discuss the details of your situation. It may be an option to request a Special Circumstances appeal to determine if you are eligible for additional federal funds.

Please contact caresact@elmhurst.edu for any and all questions about the CARES Act emergency funds.

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