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Planning for Fall 2020

The UMass Dartmouth Pandemic Emergency Response Team (PERT) has released the Fall 2020 Re-Opening Plan to guide the campus community to a safe and successful semester. Please visit our Planning for Fall 2020 website to review all planning information.

These are unprecedented times for UMass Dartmouth, our state, our nation, and the world. We understand that the COVID-19 public health crisis has hit students hard. Not only did it bring an abrupt end to your traditional academic semester, it has resulted in a number of unexpected costs.

Applying for aid 

The Federal Government has authorized CARES Act funds specifically to assist college and university students with COVID-19 related expenses:

  • assistance for students who have lost jobs with food, housing, health care and child care costs
  • assistance for students who have gotten sick
  • and assistance for students who needed to purchase remote-learning technology and resources, etc.

The University accepted initial applications for CARES Act Funds through May 22, 2020 for COVID-19 related expenses incurred during the spring 2020 semester and/or start of summer. We plan to make additional CARES Act Funding available to students in advance of the fall 2020 semester - please watch your email and this page for updates by July 15, 2020. Please note: W Federal CARES Act funding is only available to students who meet eligibility requirements defined by the Federal Government. (Students must be eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid to be eligible for CARES Act funding; all applications will be reviewed by UMassD Financial Aid Services to verify eligibility.)

Note: The CARES Act does not allow funding for tuition. 

Distribution of funds to eligible students

As part of the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, UMass Dartmouth has been awarded $3,144,116 in funding to be used for direct emergency financial assistance for eligible undergraduate and graduate students.

UMassD plans to distribute this funding to eligible students from May 1 to May 22 as part of the U.S. Emergency Financial Aid grant program.

The University will award grants in accordance with the CARES Act and all other applicable laws, including nondiscrimination laws.

In addition to the emergency funding for students, the University is receiving equivalent funding to offset institutional costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have received many questions from students about the Emergency Financial Aid grants. Below are answers to the most common questions.

Frequently asked questions

The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to provide emergency financial aid awards to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

No. The intent of the Emergency Financial Aid award program is to assist with costs and financial challenges incurred by students as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial impacts experienced by students are broad and wide-ranging, including such items as reduced hours of work, transportation costs, food, child care, costs to move off-campus, for example.

Per federal guidelines, only students who are or could be eligible to receive federal Title IV financial aid funding may receive CARES Act awards. Funding is for eligible undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at UMassD during the spring 2020 semester, including graduating seniors. Financial Aid Services (FAS) will review all students for eligibility. Those not eligible include*:

  • International students
  • DACA students
  • Student fully enrolled in online courses for spring 2020
  • Student enrolled in non-credit programs
  • Students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress

*This list is not meant to all-inclusive of reasons why students could be ineligible.

Yes. In order to provide award awards to students quickly, it is imperative that all eligible students sign up for direct deposit for these award payments. Direct deposit is established in COIN. Step by step instructions is available online

Yes. The Office of Student Affairs will contact you by email to provide you with a decision on your application within five (5) business days of receipt of your application.

Once approved, Financial Aid Services will post your award to your student account. The Bursar’s Office will automatically generate refunds. All students are strongly encouraged to establish direct deposit to ensure that funds are received efficiently and quickly. More information is available online.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a page to provide guidance on frequently asked tax questions. The University cannot offer tax advice to students in regard to funding.

Yes. Students and families now realizing a change in their financial situation may fill out a Reevaluation Request Form with FAS. The form will be reviewed and, if appropriate, FAS will initiate a professional judgment (PJ) which could potentially change a student’s award. Please note, PJ reviews require supporting documentation of changes including but not limited to a layoff notice, an unemployment award letter, etc.

Public information required by the CARES Act

  1. UMassD has signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the required Certification and Agreement. UMassD assures that it has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. The total amount of funds that UMassD will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students: $3,144,116.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to UMassD students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter): $443,009.32
  4. The estimated total number of UMassD students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: 5,298.
  5. The total number of UMassD students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: 130.
  6. The method(s) used by UMassD to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: In trying to allocate the funds in a way that would benefit all students an electronic application process was implemented that is administered by Student Affairs. Students may apply for funds up to $1,000 for needs including food, moving costs, housing, etc. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests for funds for tuition and fees are denied. Financial Aid Services and the Bursar’s Office review eligibly after Student Affairs makes their initial determination. Student are then notified by email of their approved award amount.
  7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance UMassD to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants: Students received emails notifying them of the award and instructions for providing direct deposit or check payment addresses. This website was also set up with Frequently Asked Questions for students.

More information


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