CARES Act Letter to Students
The CARES Act, the federal stimulus package providing financial relief as a result of campus disruption due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, has made stimulus funding available to Saint Peter’s University students. Saint Peter’s University has received $1,957,293; 65% is to be distributed in two phases directly to students who automatically qualify and 35% of the fund to be dispersed by student application through the Saint Peter’s University CARES Act Emergency Fund Application.
This emergency funding is intended “to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”1
The CARES Act is a federal program. The U.S. government guidelines have instructed colleges/universities that, “only students who are or could be 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. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. 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.” Moreover, those students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020 (the date of the President’s Proclamation of a National Emergency) are not eligible for emergency financial aid grants.”2
Saint Peter’s University will distribute CARES Act funds in three phases:
Immediate need-based grants (approximately 60% of the funds): These grants, ranging between $350 and $1000, will go to all eligible full-time, dependent, undergraduate students via check payments. Students will receive a personalized email indicating the amount of their grant within the next 3-5 business days. Students with questions about their grant amount after Friday, May 22nd may email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Check payment will be mailed to students using the mailing address listed in the student’s SPIRIT account; students may update mailing addresses directly through SPIRIT On-line. DEADLINE to update a preferred mailing address is 11:59 pm Friday, May 22, 2020.
The amount of the various individual grant awarded in Phase I will be determined by:
- Full-time undergraduate status enrolled in an on-ground program
- Pell eligibility
- Resident v. Commuter status (at the time of the disruption)
- Confirmed FAFSA filer for spring 2020
- Calculation of pro-rated unexpected expenses based on the university’s non-tuition cost of attendance during the semester disruption including but not limited to: food, housing, moving expenses, technology (i.e. internet, hardware, software), child care, medical expenses, and supplies, and miscellaneous expenses.
Approximately 35% of the relief funding has been set aside in order for the University to consider students’ appeals for assistance who did not meet the criteria for automatic distribution, as well as for students who may need to appeal for additional financial support. Students from any undergraduate or graduate degree program eligible for Title IV funding may apply.
Also, students awarded funding from Phase I may apply for additional funding consideration by completing the application if they feel more relief is necessary given their individual circumstance.
The application process is designed to allow individuals to appeal for funds and further substantiate their need for assistance by providing information. In general, students will be asked to provide a written appeal explaining circumstances and may in some cases be required to submit copies of expenses (i.e. bills) to lend support to their request for help.
Awards for Phase II are only available while funds last. We strongly encourage students to complete the Saint Peter’s University CARES Act Emergency Funding Application by June 30, 2020 and provide us with the information to make a holistic decision. Please keep in mind the more information we have at the time of application the quicker the review and processing of assistance.
We may not be able to fund your request due to the criteria outlined by the Department of Education, but will do our best to guide you to alternate resources through the Office of Financial Aid, the Jane Moulton Reuter ’72 Needy Student Emergency Fund, or other opportunities that may better assist you.
Questions regarding the CARES Act emergency grants should be directed to CaresFund@saintpeters.edu.
Finally, we realize that many students who study in the summer terms at Saint Peter’s University are continuing to experience expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). In Phase III approximately 5% of the relief funding will provide emergency grants of $100-$300 to support students who are enrolled in 3 or more credits of summer study. These grants will be administered following the last date to withdraw for the term.
Saint Peter’s University hopes that these emergency grants to students through the CARES ACT will help to provide some relief to the pressing financial needs of students associated with the coronavirus.
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
Saint Peter’s University