CARES Act Funding
May 15, 2020
Dear CBU Students,
In response to the financial challenges many Americans are facing due to the ongoing COVID19 public health crisis, the federal government has taken several steps to provide support for institutions of higher education such as CBU and you, the students we serve.
This message will provide an update on the funding made available by Congress through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund established by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. CBU has received a portion of this funding and will provide financial grants to eligible students for eligible expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Although the message is lengthy, please read it in its entirety to understand what funding is available to you and any steps you may need to take to receive that funding.
Fund Distribution Methodology
There are two methods for students to receive CARES Act grant funds. Via the first, the majority of the grant funds will be disbursed to all eligible students through a general distribution in the coming weeks. Students will not have to take any actions to receive these funds, however all students should read the information below regarding eligibility, use of the funds, and steps that can be taken to receive funds faster.
The second method of distributing CARES Act grant funds to eligible students will involve a grant application process overseen by a CBU committee. This grant application will allow students with additional financial burdens to apply for needed assistance. Information about the grant application process will be forthcoming and distributed via CBU student email. All students are strongly encouraged to regularly check their CBU email account throughout the summer to stay informed during this time.
CARES Act grant funds are governed by federal regulations. Only students who were actively enrolled at CBU in the Spring 2020 semester and are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act may receive emergency aid grants. Students will have already demonstrated eligibility for these programs if they have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Students who are not eligible for Title IV aid as determined by completing a FAFSA will not be considered for CARES Act funds. Students who were enrolled exclusively in online courses prior to the period of remote learning are also ineligible for CARES Act grant funds.
Through the generosity of donors, CBU has access to additional emergency grant funds that may be able to help students regardless of Title IV eligibility. Students facing financial hardship can find additional information and an application form for these funds at www.cbu.edu/emergency.
In the general distribution process, all eligible students will receive between $250 and $1,200 based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA that the student currently has on file. If a student does not have a current FAFSA on file with the University, the student will not receive a general distribution. If a student has questions about filing a FAFSA or has questions about their EFC, they should contact the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org or (901) 321-3305.
In the grant application distribution, payments will be based solely on need as determined by the CBU committee. Additional information regarding grant amounts will be provided in future communications about this application process.
The University is required to distribute all grant funds within the next 12 months.
Disbursement of Grants
General distribution grant disbursements will be processed beginning the week of May 18. Disbursements will be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or by check. Students with EFT information on file will receive grant payments before those receiving checks.
To speed up processing, we ask that you please sign up for TouchNet e-Refunds as soon as possible if you have not already done so. If you do not sign up, a check will be mailed to the address on file for you and could take an additional 14 days for delivery to you. Sign up for TouchNet e-Refunds by taking the following steps:
- Log in to TouchNet by visiting www.cbu.edu/payments
- Click on the tab labeled “Electronic Refunds”
- Enter your bank account information
If you have questions regarding the setup of TouchNet e-Refunds, please contact the Business Office by email at email@example.com or by phone at (901) 321-3380.
Eligible Expenses for CARES Act Grants
CARES Act grant funds distributed to students are to be used ONLY for eligible expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses include those expenses that qualify under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
Students do not need to provide documentation of expenses to CBU for the general distribution program. However, additional documentation may be required during the grant application process. Those requirements will be outlined in future communications.
Examples of CARES Act eligible expenses are:
- 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.
- Course Materials
May include but are not limited to general use supplies such as writing instruments and notebooks; course-specific supplies such as calculators, lab equipment, rental of musical equipment, paint brushes, and canvases; or items unexpectedly required to be purchased due to campus disruption of regular operations.
- 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.
- Healthcare Expenses
May include the cost of unanticipated or unusual medical expenses due to coronavirus or its effects.
- 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
May include the cost of unanticipated or unusual travel 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.
- Housing Expenses
May include unanticipated expenses in securing housing and/or rent for residential students after the closure of campus housing (such as difficulty in making rent or mortgage payments due to income loss from this economic disruption).
Our aim at CBU is always to be supportive to our students. We are all keenly aware of how disruptive the Spring 2020 semester has been for you and your families. We also know many of you may be experiencing times of financial uncertainty as the public health crisis continues.
As we work through the process of distributing the CARES Act grant funds, questions may arise which have not been covered here. We we want you to know that we are here to help work through those questions and concerns together with you. For billing or financial aid information, please reach out to the Business Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Office of Financial Aid (email@example.com). If you have more general questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and your questions will be routed to the appropriate parties.
As we move into the summer months, our CBU community remains committed to your future success and we look forward to welcoming you back to campus soon.
President of Christian Brothers University
CFO of Christian Brothers University