Federal CARES Act FAQ

What is the federal CARES Act?

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The act provides financial compensation and support to multiple layers of the U.S. economy, including businesses, individuals, unemployment benefits, and education.


How much money will UVU receive?

The CARES Act allocated nearly $14 billion to support colleges and universities around the country. UVU will receive $22,949,207.00. The Department of Education guidelines require at least 50% of received funds be used to provide emergency cash grants for students.


Why is UVU receiving these funds?

As an open-admission institution with a large population of Pell Grant-eligible students, UVU received the largest portion of the federal CARES Act funding for Utah public universities. Funds have been provided to support students who have demonstrated financial need and experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Why does every school receive a different amount? What factors were considered by the Department of Education?

The Department of Education awarded funds based on a formula prescribed in the CARES Act that is weighted significantly by the number of full-time students who are Pell-eligible, but also takes into consideration the total population of the school, and the number of students who were not enrolled online on a full-time basis before the coronavirus outbreak. 


What direction did UVU receive in determining how to allocate the funds?

The Department of Education provided guidance on how to use a portion of the funds “to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare.”


How did UVU determine where to use the funds?

Immediately following the passage of the CARES Act, UVU leadership organized a task force to review legislation and make a recommendation for the delivery of the funds to students. The task force consisted of representatives from departments across campus.


Which students will receive money?

All students who receive this funding must be federal financial aid-eligible. CARES Act funds will be available to students in one of these three ways:

  1. Based on a student’s estimated family contribution (EFC), they will be given a one-time cash grant. (Funding reviews for Spring 2020 completed 5/22/2020.)
  2. A portion (not EFC-based but requires a completed FAFSA) of federal funds will be available to students who need access to emergency funds to help them continue their education. (Summer 2020 completed 8/14/2020, Fall 2020 completed 12/21/2020, and Spring 2021 will begin 01/11/2021.)
  3. A portion of the funds will be available for students (must be federal financial aid-eligible) nearing completion of their degree. An application will be available shortly.  


To be eligible for funding consideration for Spring 2021, you must:

  • Have to be enrolled in six credit hours during the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Have completed the 2020/2021 FAFSA, and be eligible to receive federal financial aid.
  • Complete the survey and certification accessible via the green button on the right of this page.


If awarded, how will students be notified and receive funds?

Students will be notified via their UVU Gmail accounts. If the student has signed up for direct deposit, the funds will go to the student’s bank account. The student will otherwise receive a check.


Do students have any limitations on how they can spend the money?

As outlined by the Department of Education, the funds should be used to address unexpected expenses related to disruptions of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as for food, housing, healthcare, technology, course materials, and childcare.