Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
SOU will receive funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide emergency grants to students for COVID-related expenses, including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. The university’s Financial Aid Office is working in partnership with Student Life and the Dean of Students office to assist those students who have been affected.
SOU’s Financial Aid office’s goal is to assist as many students as possible in meeting their emergency financial needs during this challenging time. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at SOU at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocates funds to support individuals and businesses/organizations affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. The Act includes several sources of funds for colleges and universities, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
What is the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund?
The CARES Application is not currently accepting individual applications at this time. If you are or have experienced an expense due to COVID-19 please contact email@example.com and we will get back to you.
Who is eligible to receive assistance? If I am eligible, how do I apply?
The U.S. Department of Education announced on Tuesday, April 21 that it is limiting this funding to students who are eligible to receive federal financial aid and are enrolled in a program that met on-campus prior to the transition to online classes due to COVID-19. Under these guidelines, international students and students enrolled exclusively in an online program are not eligible to receive funding.
Eligible students should complete the COVID-19 Cares Emergency Grant fund Request Form for Currently Enrolled Students to request assistance. Newly admitted undergraduates and graduates facing a change in income that may affect their expected family contribution should upload a separate Special Considerations appeal on sou.verifymyfafsa.com/ which may result in additional financial aid.
Is there a deadline for applying?
Students will be notified soon via their SOU student email account on when/how to apply. A deadline has not been established at this time, however, our goal is to assist as many students as possible in a timely manner.
How much Financial Aid Assistance can I request?
Amounts will be awarded based on the student’s hardship. Please describe the amount in the request form. Each request will be reviewed on a case by case basis and amounts will vary due to request. At this time the maximum amount is up to $1,000 per request.
If I receive funding, will it negatively affect my financial aid package?
Funding from the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund will not impact a student’s financial aid package since CARES Act funding is not categorized as financial aid.
If I did not accept my loans on my Financial Aid Package that were offered to me can I still apply for assistance through CARES?
Yes, students who have not borrowed their full loan eligibility can still apply for funding. We encourage students to be aware of all funding opportunities available to them, including loans.
How long will it take for a decision to be made if I qualify for assistance?
We will be reviewing applications as quickly as possible so we can meet students’ critical needs. Students will receive an email notification when their application is processed and if their financial aid summary was updated. Please continue to monitor your SOU email for updates and notifications.
If selected, how long will it take to receive my funds?
If funding is approved, the grant funds will be disbursed to your student account. If you have not already signed up for Bank Mobile (Direct Deposit) on Inside SOU, please do so immediately. Disbursements from this fund will not be applied to an outstanding balance on your student account.
Who can I contact if I need assistance or are having problems submitting my application?
You can contact Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions that you may have concerning your FA award package or CARES funding. We are here to support you!
Will I be required to repay any of the funding that I am awarded via the CARES funding?
At this time, funding awarded due to you for the hardships experienced due to COVID-19 are not required to be repaid. These funds are provided to you to assist you.
What types of documentation can I expect to be asked for when applying for CARES funding?
At this time there is no need to provide documentation. Self-certification on the form is all that is required at this time. However the more description you provide about your situation the more your request can be evaluated to determine the amount needed.
Is CARES funding provided throughout the year, or is it a one time benefit?
Currently, SOU is providing a one time benefit to students who have been affected by COVID-19. If extra funding is available, SOU will work to distribute those funds to those who are in need.