UA Beginning Distribution of CARES Act Funds to Eligible Students

  • June 2nd, 2020

The University of Alabama is distributing funds provided through the coronavirus relief bill to eligible students.

Consistent with the United States Department of Education policy and guidance, distribution of over $10 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provided to the University for students will go directly to those eligible with the greatest need who experienced a disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act contains a section that allows for distribution of funds to higher education institutions through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for emergency needs, with about half the allotted funds designated for students.

“Our priority is to provide relief for our students who need it in a fair manner while complying with federal guidelines,” said Matt McLendon, UA associate vice president for enrollment management. “These funds and varied distribution amounts will go directly to those with the greatest need during this pandemic.”

Funds will be distributed based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution, or EFC, derived from information submitted by students on their existing Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA, for the 2019-2020 academic year. The largest fund awards will go to students with the highest level of need as determined by their previously filed FAFSA.

Those eligible must be degree-seeking students who took a half-time or more course load in the Spring 2020 Semester and are eligible for Title IV funds. Students who are enrolled in a distance learning program course of study are excluded per guidance from the federal education department.

UA staff will use data from the student’s FAFSA to create a tiered system for students with an EFC of zero up to $20,000. Depending on their qualifying coronavirus-related expenses incurred, students can receive the entire amount for which they are eligible or a smaller amount that does not exceed their expenses. Students can also decline funds, which will be repurposed for other eligible students in need.

All students must certify the expenses incurred were related to the disruption of campus operations caused by the coronavirus. Expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care or child care costs.

Students who did not receive funds on the initial distribution and who complete a FAFSA by June 30 may be eligible for additional funds on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are exhausted.

Qualifying students will receive an email from UA Student Financial Aid with next steps including an “Attestation of Incurring Expenses Related to Disruption of UA Campus Operations,” through their MyBama account. Once submitted, funds supported by the provided information on the form will be placed in the student’s account.

No outstanding balances or future charges will be deducted from the funds.

For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit the CARES Act page on UA’s HealthInfo website.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.