CARES Act

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CARES Act

On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law by the President of the United States in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The CARES Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) that provided more than $14 billion in emergency funding to higher education.

On April 09, 2020 the Secretary of Education provided allocations to colleges and universities and instructed colleges and universities to provide no less than fifty percent of their allocation in emergency cash financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including, but not limited to expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. Accordingly, Fairfield University acknowledges the following:

  1. On April 27, 2020, Fairfield University signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution 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 Fairfield University will receive from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Cash Grants to Students is $1,068,679.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 02, 2020 is $876,200.
  4. Presently, it is estimated that there are 3200 students at Fairfield University 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. As of July 02, 2020, 1807 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  6. Fairfield University used the following method to determine which students may receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act:
    1. $250 to students who are Title IV eligible, as per their FAFSA, and were on the University meal plan during the spring 2020 semester, for the unanticipated cost of food they had to purchase upon return to their hometown.
    2. $1000 to full-time undergraduate students who were receiving a federal Pell grant during the spring 2020 semester.
    3. By application. The CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant application may be found here. A student may apply for a CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant if you meet eligibility requirements and you are seeking funds because you are either not eligible based on the criteria in a or b or you have expenses incurred beyond the amount that you have already been provided and those expenses relate to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The committee will review your request based on reasonableness, the number of applicants, and the amount of funding available. Those awards will be determined as follows:
FEDERAL EFC Lessor of Amount Requested or Max
0 – 10,000 $1250
10,001 – 20,000 $1000
20,001 – 30,000 $800
30,000 and above $500
  1. The following information was provided by Fairfield University to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

CARES Act Student Letter

Read the Entire Email Communication

CARES Act Student Letter

Presidential Seal
Office of the Executive Vice President

May 14, 2020

Dear Student:

Fairfield University is a recipient of the Federal CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which provides grants for students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Covid-19 crisis. As part of the guidance issued by the federal government you have met the required criteria to receive a grant from this fund.

There is nothing further that you need to do, your relief funding is included in this check. You do not have to report these stimulus dollars on your 2020 tax return. Fairfield University will be issuing additional information related to the CARES Act on our website.

Be well,

Kevin P. Lawlor
Executive Vice President and COO

Emergency Cash Grant Application

Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act requires Fairfield University to use no less than fifty percent of the funds received to provide emergency financial aid grants to eligible* students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus for items such as course materials, technology, health care, child care, food and housing. For questions on eligibility or funding limits, please see the Q&A section of this page. If you have questions on any part of this application process, please submit those questions to CaresAct@fairfield.edu.

Financial Aid

Students and families that have not yet applied for financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic year are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Fairfield University requires both the FAFSA and CSS Profile in order to apply for financial aid. We understand that these applications reflect a point in time that may look different from a family’s current financial situation. Should you wish to notify the Office of Financial Aid of a financial hardship please contact the Office at finaid@fairfield.edu for information and advisement.

If you have questions, please contact CaresAct@fairfield.edu for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Eligibility for CARES Act Emergency Cash Grants is based on Title IV eligibility as of March 13, 2020. Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, students who are eligible to receive financial aid under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, are eligible to receive CARES Act Emergency Cash Grants. Note: Students enrolled in programs primarily delivered online on March 13, 2020, are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Cash Grants.

A student is Title IV-eligible if they have filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the U.S. Department of Education and it has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education and the Fairfield University Office of Financial Aid as eligible to receive aid. Accepting Title IV aid is not a requirement for eligibility. Questions regarding Title IV eligibility may be sent to finaid@fairfield.edu.

Yes, provided they meet the eligibility criteria as stated in the above question.

  1. All Pell eligible students will receive $1000.
  2. All Title IV eligible students that had purchased a University meal plan for the Spring 2020 semester will receive $250.
  3. The remaining funds will be awarded to eligible students through an application process. Awards may vary based on expected family contribution (EFC), amount requested, demonstrated financial need and remaining available funds.

You may apply for a CARES Act Emergency Cash Grant if you meet eligibility requirements and you are seeking funds because you are not eligible based on a or b above or you have expenses incurred beyond the amount that you have already been provided and those expenses relate to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The committee will review your request based on reasonableness, the number of applicants, and the amount of funding available.

FEDERAL EFC Lessor of Amount Requested or Max
0 – 10,000 $1250
10,001 – 20,000 $1000
20,001 – 30,000 $800
30,000 and above $500

The application consists of four sections: contact information, expenses, certification, and submission. Please be prepared to list the total amount of unexpected expenses you experienced in each category since March 13, 2020 resulting from the disruptions to campus operations from the COVID-19 pandemic. You may provide a narrative description as well.

No. However, the student must certify that the reported expenses are true and accurate. The committee reserves the right to request documentation on a case-by-case basis to substantiate a request.

No. However, funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will do our best to provide for as many grants as possible. We will update this website when all funds have been exhausted.

A committee has been established to review applications and will consider requests as quickly as possible. The goal is to inform students of their allocation as soon as soon as possible.

A check will be mailed to your home address on file with Fairfield University.

This has no bearing on the amount of your emergency grant. No fees or other balances on your student account will be deducted from the grant.

No. The emergency grant is not considered financial aid or a loan. You will not need to repay the funds. This will be included as grant or scholarship aid in Box 5 on the 2020 1098-T.

Please email CaresAct@fairfield.edu for assistance.

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