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Applying for FY21 CARES Relief Funding

Spring applications are now closed.

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

  • assistance covering costs for food, housing, health care and child care costs for students who have a loss of employment
  • assistance to purchase remote-learning technology and resources, etc.

Applications for spring 2021 CARES funds are now closed

The eligibility for CARES funding was recently changed. This means that international, online, and non-Title VI students are now eligible to apply. Applicants are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Registered full-time (12 credits for undergraduates/law, 9 credits for grad) for spring 2021. Based on funding, part-time students may receive a partial award.

The review of FY21 CARES Relief Funding has been completed and awards will be updated shortly.

Note: The CARES Act does not allow funding for tuition or other charges billed by UMassD.

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 $3,299,912.50 in funding to be used for direct emergency financial assistance for eligible undergraduate and graduate students.

UMassD distributed $3,226,688.32 of this funding in the first several rounds of applications to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. The University plans to distribute the remainder of this funding to eligible students by end of spring 2021 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. All students receiving CARES Act funding need to ensure they have established a Direct Deposit refund preference in COIN. Assistance in adding/changing direct deposit information is found here.

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.

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.

Due to changes in eligibility requirements, all full-time students (12 undergraduates, 9 grad/law) are eligible to apply. This includes international, DACA, and other students who are not Title IV eligible.

Yes. Students are asked to complete an application to be considered for funding.

Yes. In order to provide 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 are available online.

Yes. The review of spring applications will begin late February/early March. Notification of decision and disbursal, where applicable, of FY21 CARES Relief Funding will occur shortly thereafter.

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 with regards 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: $3,299,912.50
  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): $3,226,688.32
  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: 2,300.
  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 Financial Aid Services. Students may apply for funds for needs including food, moving costs, housing, etc. The amount awarded is dependent on the number of applications received. 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 eligibility and make the final determination. Students 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.

UMassD CARES Act Sept 2020 Report

More information


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