The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020 is intended to provide economic relief for individuals impacted by the pandemic.
Under CARES, the U.S. Department of Education was authorized to provide funding to institutions of higher education to award in the form of emergency financial aid grants to students. These funds must be used by students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as: food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. In keeping with federal guidance, the University of Mississippi is prioritizing students with the greatest financial need.
Who is eligible to receive funds under the CARES Act?
Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. Students must be enrolled at the University of Mississippi.
This includes but is not limited to the following characteristics:
- Degree-seeking (cannot be an undeclared major with more than 45 earned hours OR be in Conditional Graduate status)
- Valid Social Security number
- Registered for Selective Service (if required by law)
- U.S. citizen or an authorized non-citizen
- Making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Not in default on a federal loan
- Cannot be in one of the online graduate programs (per CARES-specific requirements)
As of May 10, 2020, you must be currently enrolled for the Summer 2020 or Fall 2020-21 terms to be eligible to receive funds under the CARES Act. To request funds for the Spring 2020 semester, you must have been enrolled during the Spring 2020 term and currently enrolled to receive the funds.
What are eligible expenses for requesting an emergency financial aid grant through the CARES Act?
Emergency financial aid grants to students are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
Examples of campus disruption expenses include:
- Purchases for technology for online courses
- Additional course materials
- Unexpected/extra travel costs
- Emergency or increased costs of child care
- Purchases of meals that were previously provided on-campus
- Replacement of medications
- Rent you incurred to relocate away from campus
Examples of expenses that are not considered as campus disruption expenses:
- Paying the same amount for rent, food, internet services and child care expenses as you were previously paying, even if you are in a different location. No new expenses have been incurred.
- Replacing wages from the loss of a job for you or your family is not an expense that is reimbursable since this is a change in your financial need and not an incurred expense.
Are supporting documents such as receipts required to receive funds?
Supporting documentation is not required when submitting the application for eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. However, the University of Mississippi may require additional information or documents to substantiate your request. Students are required to certify that the information they submit is true and complete.
Why am I being asked to complete a second form or application?
We received additional guidance on the awarding of the CARES Act funds after we received applications for the CARES Act funding. To ensure compliance, it was necessary for us to confirm information before awarding the CARES Act monies. Therefore, students who applied quickly for the CARES Act funding were asked to complete a second form to ensure that both the institution and the student were in compliance with the regulations.
Why is the amount I received less than what I requested?
In keeping with guidance from the US Department of Education, the University of Mississippi is prioritizing students with the greatest financial need. Award amounts may be less than amounts requested based on student financial need and available funding.
How is financial need assessed for emergency financial aid grants to students under the CARES Act?
Estimated family contributions as determined from information submitted in the FAFSA and limits by category of expense as well as overall maximum amounts are considered for the assessment of a student’s financial need.
Can I edit my form?
Any edits to your application should be sent to email@example.com. Please include your student identification number and the academic term of the application to be updated.
Can I submit a second application for additional expenses at a later date?
Applications are limited to one per student per academic term.
Are these funds taxable?
These funds are not taxable.
Will I have to pay back the funds?
The funds are awarded as a grant which do not have to be repaid and are not considered a loan. Repayment would be required if false or misleading information is provided resulting in emergency aid being issued under false or fraudulent pretenses.
How long will it take to receive funds?
Dependent upon verification of data and assessment of need, funds should be distributed within 5 to 10 business days of receipt of your application for students who have previously submitted a FAFSA. To expedite receipt of your funds, ensure your ACH details are updated in myOleMiss.
How can I update my banking information?
Login to myOleMiss and navigate to Student ==> Financials ==> Update Bank Account Information
Why do I see the funds in my Bursar account, but not in my bank account?
Dependent on your financial institution, it may take 24-48 hours for the funds to be reflected in your account once reflected in your Bursar account.
Why do I have to file a 2019-2020 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. The University of Mississippi is using the 2019-2020 FAFSA to determine eligibility of a student to participate in Title IV programs.
How long will it take for my application to be processed after I submit a FAFSA?
The University should receive your information with 5 to 10 business days after your successful submission of the FAFSA. Your application will be reviewed once eligibility per the FAFSA is determined.
I have not qualified for financial aid in the past based on my FAFSA. Should I apply for these funds?
Even if you were previously not eligible for other federal financial assistance, you may be eligible for an emergency financial aid grant under the CARES Act and should file a FAFSA as soon as possible.
Can I qualify for CARES Act funding even if my income was too high to qualify for other types of financial aid?
Yes, you may still qualify for CARES Act funds even if your income was too high to qualify for other types of aid.
How can I get an answer to a question not covered by these FAQs?
For answers to questions not covered by these FAQs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.