Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 6, 2020
CARES Act Emergency Grant Frequently Asked Questions
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). One part of this federal program provides emergency grants to undergraduate and graduate students for unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where are the funds coming from? Is there some sort of disaster relief fund?
Keene State College was awarded funds from the federal CARES Act, which provides emergency grants for eligible college students who have unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do I know if I qualify for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need will be considered for these funds. HEERF funds are distributed based upon demonstrated financial need. Unfortunately, the CARES Act does not allow these funds to be used for programs that are exclusively online, international students, or students who have not completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Why can’t students who haven’t filed a FAFSA receive emergency grant money?
Filing a FAFSA is required for this grant, because information from the FAFSA is how financial need is assessed. Without it, eligibility criteria for the emergency grant funds cannot be accurately determined.
How do I apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?
Information about applying for these funds will be emailed to eligible students when funding becomes available. Students in Keene State programs that are exclusively online along with International, and non FAFSA filers are not eligible to receive funds from the CARES Act.
Would this funding reduce my financial aid?
This fund does not negate or replace financial aid, and it is a one-time grant.
How much money is available for each eligible student?
Amounts vary, but, once you complete the application, your eligibility will be determined; typical emergency grants are between $250 to $750.
How do I receive my emergency grant funds?
The funds will be available as a check or through direct deposit, if you have an account on file with the Student Accounts Office. Once you complete the application, and determined eligible for the funds, a check or deposit will be requested. It could take up to 15 days for processing.
I am enrolled in an online program, am I eligible for the HEERF funding?
Students enrolled exclusively in online programs are not eligible for emergency grants
What happens if I do not have expenses now, but do later?
Eligible students should complete the survey if they have unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
What constitutes eligible expenses to qualify for emergency funding?
Eligible expenses could apply to a variety of financial costs directly tied the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include money spent for additional technology/course requirements, unanticipated travel, emergency housing, or unexpected child care costs due to extended school closures, etc.
Do I need to collect proof of expenses, and if so, where do I submit it?
You do not need to provide proof of eligible expenses in order to receive the emergency grant money. However, you must answer the survey questions to the best of your knowledge.
Do I have to repay a Federal Emergency Aid Grant?
The Federal Emergency Aid Grant funds are designed to be a grant, not a loan, and will not need to be repaid.
Do I need to report financial aid or grants on my federal tax return?
Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have separate and unique tax consequences for your federal tax return. Visit the IRS website for assistance.
Can I re-apply for the grant?
Yes. If a second distribution of funds is available, we will consider a second request after July 1. Your request will be reviewed by an Appeals committee, which meets weekly. You will be notified by the Financial Aid Office after a decision is made.