CARES Act 2020-10-20T09:10:12+00:00

CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides emergency financial aid grants to NSU students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Northwestern State University acknowledges that the institution has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and attests that we intend 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.

The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to use funds received under Sections 1800(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

CARES Act funds are available to all currently enrolled, degree-seeking, undergraduate and graduate students, full- and part-time, who were not enrolled exclusively in all online programs prior to the COVID-19 emergency, who experienced a disruption to campus operations, due to COVID-19, and who meet the eligibility requirements listed below.

Information and Eligibility Requirements

To Receive CARES Act Funds, You Must:

  1. Meet Eligibility Requirements
  • Be Title IV eligible
  • Be enrolled as a degree seeking student on March 13, 2020.
  • Be enrolled in an academic program that may be earned face-to-face and have taken face-to-face classes in the past for your current degree level
  • Be a US Citizen or eligible noncitizen with a valid SSN
  • Be registered with Selective Service (male students)
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress for spring 2020
  • Meet all other Title IV eligibility requirements under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965
  1. Have a completed 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), on file.

You must have a completed 2019-20 FAFSA on file with NSU.

If you have not completed a 2019-20 FAFSA and you are eligible to complete one, you must do so by June 1, 2020 to meet this requirement.

  1. Complete the Certification form on your MyNSU account

Students who meet the eligibility requirements to receive CARES Act funding and have a completed 2019-20 FAFSA on file will receive a link to a certification form on their MyNSU  account.  These students must complete the certification by May 25.  Agreeing to the certification on MyNSU, certifies that you incurred school-related expenses associated with coronavirus.  Your certification allows NSU to automatically make awards to eligible students based on existing information on file at the University.

Students who have not completed a 2019-20 FAFSA and are eligible to complete one must do so by June 1, 2020 to meet this requirement.  Beginning June 15, eligibility for funding will be evaluated and students who meet criteria will be notified of additional processes that must be completed.

Payments

Once you complete the self-certification process on your MyNSU account, your funds will be posted on your student account and paid in the form of a direct deposit (if set up) or a paper check by US mail to your student address on file with the university.  NSU plans to issue payments beginning May 14 and process payments every Thursday until May 28, 2020.

Students who have not completed a 2019-20 FAFSA and complete one by June 1, will be notified in mid-June for additional processes that must be completed.

Amount of Awards

Every eligible student will be awarded.  Amounts will vary based on:

  • A student’s Pell eligibility
  • A student’s number of hours enrolled

Funds will be allocated to all eligible students based on the number of hours enrolled and need as determined by federal Pell grant eligibility.  Non-Pell grant eligible student award amounts range from $118.00 for students enrolled in 1-credit hour to $534.00 for those enrolled in 21 credit hours or more. Pell Grant eligible student award amounts range from $130.00 for students enrolled in 1-credit hour to a maximum of $786.00 for those enrolled in 21 credit hours or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for CARES Act funding? CARES Act funds are available to all currently enrolled, degree-seeking, undergraduate and graduate students, full- and part-time, who were not enrolled exclusively in all online programs prior to the COVID-19 emergency, who experienced a disruption to campus operations due to COVID-19 and who meet the eligibility requirements listed above.

Who is excluded from CARES Act funding?  Students enrolled in degree programs that may be earned online only; students in programs that may be earned online or face to face and have never taken face to face classes; students who were not enrolled in degree seeking programs or who were in high school as of March 13, 2020; students who are not Title IV eligible; students who are not US citizens; and students who do not meet other eligibility requirements listed above.

What does “Title IV Eligible” mean?  Title IV eligible means that you meet the criteria to receive grants (Pell, SEOG, TEACH) and/or loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, and Parent Plus) from the federal government.  Title IV is based on family or individual income as documented on tax returns as listed on the FAFSA.

What are the eligibility requirements under section 484?

  • Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges.
  • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
  • Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
  • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
  • File “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes, if selected for verification: A statement of educational purposeand a Student’s SSN
  • Not owe a refund on Title IV grants
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan

Do I have to complete an application?  No.  Students who have completed a 2019-20 FAFSA and meet all the requirements only need to submit the certification form on MyNSU by May 25.  If you agree to the certification, you will automatically receive an award.

Students who have not completed a 2019-20 FAFSA and are eligible to complete one must do so by June 1, 2020.  Beginning June 15, eligibility for funding will be evaluated and students who meet criteria will be notified for additional processes that must be completed.

What does it mean to “certify” for CARES Act funding? Agreeing to the certification means that you guarantee that you incurred unexpected expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare related to the disruption of campus operations because of COVID-19

How much will my award be?  Award amounts will vary.  Funds will be allocated to all eligible students based on the number of hours enrolled and need as determined by federal Pell grant eligibility.  Non-Pell grant eligible student award amounts range from $118.00 for students enrolled in 1-credit hour to $534.00 for those enrolled in 21 credit hours or more. Pell Grant eligible student award amounts range from $130.00 for students enrolled in 1-credit hour to a maximum of $786.00 for those enrolled in 21 credit hours or more.

When will I receive payment?  NSU plans to process payments beginning May 14 and we will process payments every Thursday until May 28. Your refund date will be determined by the date you were verified as eligible and completed the certification form. 

May I participate if I did not complete a 2019-20 FAFSA?  Yes, but you must submit a 2019-20 FAFSA before June 1 and meet all the eligibility requirements.

If I was enrolled in some or all on-line classes in the spring 2020 semester prior to the pandemic, am I eligible to receive funding?

That depends:

  • Students enrolled exclusively in an all online program are NOT eligible to receive funds
  • If you were enrolled in a program offered on-line or face-to-face and you previously completed all your courses on-line including Spring 2020 enrollment, you are NOT eligible to receive funding
  • If you were enrolled in on-line classes, and the program offers on-line and face-to-face options AND you have previously taken face-to-face courses then you may be eligible

If I am at my maximum Cost of Attendance (COA), am I eligible to receive funding?  Students who meet all the eligibility requirements and are at their COA, will receive funding.   Awards do not count towards a student’s Estimated Financial Assistance.

Am I eligible if I am a currently enrolled Dual Enrollment Student?   No

Can Undocumented Students and International Students Receive Funds Under the CARES Act?  No

Does the money need to be repaid? No

How will I receive my money? Funds will be posted on your student account and paid in the form of a direct deposit (if set up) or a paper check by US mail to your student address on file with the university.

How do I know if I have established direct deposit?  You can review direct deposit information within MyNSU.

If you have not established a direct deposit, you can sign up by submitting the direct deposit form (located at the link below) by May 12.  Please submit a voided blank check or a letter from your bank on your bank’s letterhead for your direct deposit request to be processed.

https://www.nsula.edu/documentprovider/docs/309/NSU%20EFT%20Form%20Updated%2010052018.pdf

What if my address on file is not correct? You will need to complete a change of address form with the NSU Registrar’s Office, https://www.nsula.edu/documentprovider/docs/2/Registrar-Address-ChangeForm-Student.pdf.

What if I have additional questions? Send your questions to: CARESAct@nsula.edu

  • Total amount of HEERF funds NSU will receive: $2,823,517
  • Title IV eligible students as of May 5, 2020: 5237
  • Total HEERF grants disbursed to students as of June 18, 2020: $2,823,517
  • Total number of students that certified HEERF fund eligibility June 18, 2020: 4,426
  • All available HEERF funds were distributed to students as of June 18, 2020

Notices to students: