Skip to main content Skip to main content

CARES Act funding for students

MSU Denver is committed to addressing the obstacles our students are facing as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The University was excited to have distributed $7.1 million in funding from the CARES Act to our students in May 2020 and disbursed an additional $7.1 million granted by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), 2021 by end of May 2021.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Impact Grant under CRRSAA - update 

MSU Denver will begin awarding Additional Impact Grant funds the week of on March 8th, giving thousands of grants to students with high financial needs. If you are eligible for this grant, you will receive an email at your MSU Denver email address alerting you to this. Students had until May 15, 2021 to accept the grant through self-certification using the Access the Impact Grant Certification Form. ***Please note - This application is now closed.

 

Additional Emergency Grant under CRRSAA - update  

In addition to the Impact Grant, there is also a new application for the Additional Emergency Relief Grant. Students had until May 31, 2021 to apply for the Additional Emergency Grant under CRRSAA.***Please note - This application is now closed.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

 

More about CARES Act and CRRSAA funding at MSU Denver:

Eligible students can use these funds to help address their own financial hardship or expenses related to any of these categories:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Food
  • Housing
  • Course materials
  • Technology
  • Health care
  • Childcare expenses

 

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to receive currently available funding, you must:

  • Be eligible for federal student aid as determined by completing a 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov.
  • Have enrolled in at least one class during the Spring 2021 term.
  • Have experienced financial hardship and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students had to meet the above criteria by Friday, May 15, to ensure full consideration for this limited CARES Act funding. 

How do I receive funding?

MSU Denver developed two programs for awarding CARES Act funding to students. 

  • The Additional Impact Grant - will be awarded by May 2021 to eligible students with an Expected Family Contribution of less than $5,712 as calculated by the FAFSA. If qualified, students will receive an email explaining the self-certification steps required to receive these funds. ***Please note - This application is now closed.
  • The Additional Emergency Relief Grant – aimed at making funds available to a broader scope of students who also have immediate needs. These grants are available to eligible students regardless of Expected Family Contribution but require an additional application. ***Please note - This application is now closed.
  • The COVID-19 Impact Grant - awarded to eligible students with an Expected Family Contribution of less than $30,000 as calculated by the FAFSA. If qualified, students receive an email explaining the self-certification steps required to receive these funds. ***Please note - This application is now closed.
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant - aiming to make funds available to a broader scope of students who also have immediate needs. These grants are available to eligible students regardless of Expected Family Contribution but require an additional application. ***Please note - This application is now closed.

Funds will be delivered to eligible students via direct deposit or the U.S. Mail. Please ensure your mailing address and/or direct deposit information is current and accurate in the Student Hub


Questions?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. The Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 allocated more funds to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the same esteem as the CARES Act. 

Beyond the eligibility requirements laid out above, the U.S. Department of Education rules for the program allow these funds to be awarded to undergraduate, graduate and professional students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at MSU Denver. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for undocumented students, international students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs. If you are a student from one of these groups, there are other types of emergency aid from MSU Denver available. Please see the questions below for details on applying for these emergency aid programs.

Yes. Students must have a completed FAFSA on file to determine eligibility for the grant awards.

The CARES Act and CRRSAA directed universities to prioritize students whose family income is in the low- to low-middle income categories. MSU Denver wants to provide economic relief quickly to students who may have experienced additional expenses and/or a loss of income in the semester due to COVID-19, so we have created two types of grants to distribute these emergency funds immediately. 

The first program is the Additional Impact Grant which is an auto-awarded relief grant that awards $1,000 per student based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the 2020-2021 FAFSA.  The grant will be paid in two $500 payments. The first payment will be delivered when the student accepts the award offer and completes the affirmation process. The second payment will be delivered on April 28, 2021 – To receive these funds students must affirm their eligibility in response to the award letter emailed to them by May 15, 2021.  

The second program is the Additional Emergency Relief Fund. These relief funds are available to a broader range of students to address acute needs and are based on individual requests. This program requires students to complete a brief application to identify their need for relief grant funds or other resources.  

Under U.S. Department of Education direction, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for these federal grants. However, MSU Denver may be able to help you withemergency aid from other institutional or private donations via the Student Emergency Retention Fund. These funds are limited, but we encourage you to apply. We will review your request and determine if we can offer you assistance. 

In general, you probably did not receive a standard relief grant because you may not have met our initial criteria for awarding these funds, or did not establish eligibility. 

However, we know that many families’ incomes are in flux or that additional expenses may be experienced due to the pandemic. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to see if we may be able to help you address any changes to income or expense and how it affects your current aid eligibility via an Income Adjustment Appeal. You can find more information about changing your financial aid information here. 

Any grant funds awarded to you will be delivered to your current direct deposit account or address current in our student system.  If your direct deposit or address information are not current, please log into the Student Hub and update them as soon as you can. 

Under the CRRSAA funding, you may elect to apply your Additional Impact Grant and/or Additional Emergency Relief Grant to your student account to help pay any outstanding balance owed to MSU Denver.  Just be sure to indicate this when you accept or apply for the grant funding. 

NOTE: Any funds you request to be paid through the student account will pay any outstanding balance first; any funds remaining will be refunded to you. 

No, you will not need to repay any money received through these funds.

Please Note:  The COVID19 Emergency Relief Grant Application funded under the CARES Act is no longer available as of May 27, 2020.  The Additional Emergency Relief Grant funded by the CRRSAA will be open on March 22, 2021 and will remain open until funds are exhausted.

While you may submit the application for the 2020 spring semester more than once, funds are very limited. We encourage students to consider both current and future needs when making your initial request to ensure we can attempt to best meet your needs, in full, as quickly as possible. 

Additionally, please note requests for assistance greater than $1000 may be subject to increased processing time, as they receive a manual level of review so we can provide high-impact student support. 

No. Any emergency funds granted through Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is meant to help you manage unexpected expenses related to COVID-19, and it will not have any impact on other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

These grants are not taxable as income to the recipient. However, if you receive these grants and apply them directly to your student account to cover outstanding, qualified tuition and fees, then the funds may be reported on the 1098-T form. If we receive updated guidance from the U.S. Department of Education or the U.S. Treasury Department, we will add that here. 

CARES Act and CRRSAA

Compliance Reporting

The US Department of Education intends to establish reporting requirements regarding the distribution of financial aid grants to students consistent with section 314(e) of CRRSAA and has established the reporting requirements under the CARES Act.  Once guidance for reporting is more clearly defined for the CRRSAA HEERF II funding, we will include compliance reporting here and align with current CARES Act funding reporting which comprises the bulk of the existing information found below.

Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”), Pub. L. No. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020), directs institutions receiving funds under Section 18004 of the Act to submit (in a time and manner required by the US Department of Education’s Secretary) a report to the Secretary describing the use of funds distributed from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”). The following information is designed to satisfy the reporting requirements as established by the Secretary:

On April 11, 2020  Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) signed and returned to the US Department of Education via grants.gov the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certification and Agreement for the minimum student allocation of emergency financial aid grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act. Per the HEERF Certification and Agreement, MSU Denver was allocated $14,390,083 and has already initiated awarding these funds with the intention to use no less than 50% of the funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. On April 22, 2020, MSU Denver received via G5 the institution’s minimum student allocation of HEERF funds, totaling $7,195,042.


As of Monday, May 11, 2020, MSU Denver has distributed to students $3,374,400.00 in emergency grants to students.

The estimated total number of students at MSU Denver with eligibility for this aid, as defined under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 is approximately 11,362 students based on Spring 2020 enrollment.

The total number of students who have already received emergency financial aid grant funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 6,670. Using current projections MSU Denver estimates approximately 10,290 students will receive funds overall; this is approximately 55% of the student body for the Spring 2020 semester.

On May 5, 2020, MSU Denver announced and initiated the awarding and application process for students to receive these emergency financial aid grants via two modes of distribution:

  • The COVID-19 Impact Grant, a fixed grant designed to focus on our students’ needs as determined by Expected Family Contribution (EFC) data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Fixed awards range from $250/student at higher EFC ranges to $650/students at lower EFC ranges.  The overall EFC awarding range runs from 0-30,000.
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant, a simple application-based process designed to allow MSU Denver the means to be responsive to the immediate and acute needs of students in a way that cannot be identified by FAFSA and EFC data alone.  Awards will vary based on request but in most cases will not exceed $2000/student.
Update               
June 25, 2020

Total funds the institution will receive or has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students: $7,195,042.00

Total Amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students: $5,749,098.22

Estimated number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965: 10,510

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant: 8,171

August 20,2020

Total funds the institution will receive or has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students: $7,195,042.00

Total Amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students: $5,762,748.22

Estimated number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965: 10,510

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant:  8,195

October 10, 2020

Total funds the institution will receive or has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students: $7,195,042.00

Total Amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students: $5,762,748.22

Estimated number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965: 10,510

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant:  8,195

January 10, 2021

Total funds the institution will receive or has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students: $7,195,042.00

Total Amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students: $7,195,042.00

Estimated number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965:  10,514

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant:  8,207

April 9, 2021 

Total funds the institution will receive or has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under CARES: $7,195,042.00

Total Amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students: $7,195,042.00

Estimated number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965:  10,514

Total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant:  8,207

Initial Reporting April 9, 2021

As of Wednesday, March 31, 2021: MSU Denver had distributed $2,431,748.00 in CRRSAA funded emergency grants to students. The total number of students who had received emergency financial aid grant funds under Section 314(a)(1) of CRRSAA is 4,508.

Total funds the institution will receive or has received for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under CRRSAA: $7,195,042.00

On March 12, 2021, MSU Denver announced and initiated the awarding and application process for students to receive CRRSAA emergency financial aid grants via two initial programs:

  • The Additional Impact Grant – to be awarded through May 2021 to eligible students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of less than $5,712 as calculated by the 2020-2021 FAFSA. If qualified, students receive an email explaining the self-certification steps required to receive these funds. This program will end May 15, 2021.The Additional Impact Grant will be offered at $1,000 and set for two (2) separate $500 payments.
  • Payments will be split between when funds are first accepted, and April 28th in effort to help sustain students over a longer period. 
  • Students who accept funds after April 28th will receive the full $1,000 in one (1) payment. 
  • The Additional Emergency Grant – aimed at making funds available to a broader scope of students who also have immediate needs. These grants are available to eligible students regardless of EFC but require an additional application.  Awards will vary based on request but in most cases will not exceed $2000/student. This program opened to students the week of March 22, 2021.

As of March 3, 2021, the estimated number of students at MSU Denver with eligibility for this aid, as defined above, and under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, was approximately 6,630 students based on Spring 2021 enrollment activity.


Finally, the U.S. Department of Education requires MSU Denver document any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. A summary of those communications and the generalized content therein follows (examples of these communications are on file with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships):

  • Students awarded under the COVID-19 Impact Grant were directed via student email to a web-based application used to certify their financial hardship and expense related to disruption of campus activities due to the coronavirus.
  • Broad email messaging to all students via the Student Affairs office announced the launch of both emergency grant programs (https://www.msudenver.edu/coronavirus-update/covid19-cares-act-funding-050520/). Information was also made available to students via web resources found at the following link as well as student and staff related publications.  https://www.msudenver.edu/financialaid/caresact/
  • COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant was part of broader communications and students were directed to a simplified applications process to identify their eligibility for CARES Act funds as well as other university and community-based resources that might be available.
  • Students in both emergency grant processes were affirmed of the eligibility status and what to expect as far as payment of funds.

Edit this page