CARES Act COVID-19 Emergency Funding Program
Are you a Union student who has experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic? You may qualify for federal CARES Act aid, which provides emergency funding for college students.
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities Act (CARES Act) is federal legislation providing financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. One part of this federal program allocates money to Union Theological Seminary, and a portion of that allocation is to be awarded to students who are experiencing financial hardships due to the coronavirus.
Who can apply for CARES Act funds?
Originally, it was announced that any currently enrolled student who had been impacted by COVID-19 could apply for CARES Act funding. New federal guidelines indicate students must have demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), which is determined via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who are not eligible to submit a FAFSA are not eligible for CARES Act funding, however, Union has multiple sources of additional emergency funding for students who may not qualify under the CARES Act. Because of this, we are still encouraging all students with financial need due to COVID-19 to apply online (see below for how to apply).
You must be enrolled in courses at Union in order to be eligible for an award.
What is the deadline to apply?
Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. Students enrolled in the summer term may apply beginning Monday, June 15. The application deadline for students that were enrolled in the summer term is Friday, August 14. Students planning to be enrolled for the September Pre-session can apply beginning on Monday, August 30th. Students planning to start the academic year in October can apply beginning Friday, September 25th.
I was previously awarded funds through the Union Emergency COVID Assistance Fund for Spring. Can I reapply for summer or fall?
Yes, you may apply for additional Union Emergency COVID Assistance and/or CARES Act funds if you have not yet reached the maximum award under the previous program ($1,000). We are doing everything we can to accommodate additional funding requests from eligible students. However, in an attempt to assist as may students as possible, priority will be given to those who have not yet received either an Emergency COVID Assistance or Union CARES grant. Any additional awards will be issued based on availability of funds.
What kinds of expenses qualify?
CARES Act funds are intended to cover costs related to campus disruptions stemming from COVID-19 that might disrupt your education, such as childcare expenses, course materials, unexpected housing/rent expenses, food/groceries, tuition, utilities, healthcare or technology needs. Funds awarded do not require repayment.
Expenses not covered include, non-essential household items, credit card bills, car payments, parking tickets, entertainment, and non-essential travel.
How much can I apply for?
The maximum grant amount is $1,000. However, we have a limited amount of funds available to assist as many students as possible. Funds will be distributed on a case-by-case basis.
How do I apply?
Please complete the online application form to request funding and submit supporting documentation. To confirm your eligibility for funding, the Office of Financial Aid must have a copy of your FAFSA on file. If you have not already submitted your FAFSA for the current academic year, you must file the FAFSA online or via the myStudentAid app on IOS or Android. Please use G02890 as your school code. If you are not FAFSA eligible, please continue with the application and indicate that at the bottom of page one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a loan? Does the money need to be repaid?
No, this is a grant that does not need repaid.
Would this funding reduce my financial aid?
No, these funds will not reduce or replace financial aid.
I have never applied for financial aid. Can I still apply for CARES funding?
Yes, you may still apply for CARES funding. However, for the CARES administrators to confirm your eligibility to receive TITLE IV funds, please submit a FAFSA application as soon as possible at fafsa.gov. If you need assistance, please contact Melissa Desravines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I submitted my application. When will I hear back?
It generally takes 5-7 days for us to process your application. Once you receive notification that your request is approved, please plan for an additional 7-10 days for your payment to be processed.
I was awarded CARES Act funding. Will I have to report it on my 2020 taxes?
No. The IRS recently announced emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act are not taxable and should not be included in gross income. Additionally, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant. For more information, visit the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act webpage.
What additional resources are available if I need access to food?
If you have questions or need more information, email email@example.com.
CARES Act Emergency Funding Program 30-Day Report
Union Theological Seminary (Union) has received funding under the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Union is required to post a regular allocation summary and grant reports.View the 30-day Report