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Email from Will Simpkins, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs

CARES Act funding


May 5, 2020


Dear Roadrunners,  

You may have heard that the federal government passed a law called the CARES Act. This sweeping legislation set aside more than $2 trillion in relief funding for the American people, a portion of which was designated for university students struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Metropolitan State University of Denver received $7.1 million to distribute directly to students experiencing financial hardship.

I am excited to announce that we are ready to make these funds available to our students. While we want to distribute these funds to as many Roadrunners as possible, there are some eligibility requirements. To qualify for funding, you must meet the following criteria:


  • Be eligible for federal student aid as determined by completing a 2019/2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Have attended at least one in-person class during the Spring 2020 term.
  • Have experienced financial hardship and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Our plan is to distribute these funds through two grant programs:


  • The COVID-19 Impact Grant is aimed at serving our students with the highest financial need. These grants will be awarded to eligible students with an Expected Family Contribution of less than 30,000 as calculated by the FAFSA. If you qualify, you will be sent an email explaining the next steps for you to receive the funds. Be sure to submit your 2019/2020 FAFSA by May 15 in order to be considered for this grant.
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant aims 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 will require you to complete a simple application form


I understand that some of our Roadrunner family members may not meet the eligibility criteria to receive CARES Act funding. Currently, undocumented (including DACA and ASSET), international and online-only students are ineligible. I can assure you that MSU Denver is committed to meeting the needs of all our students. In fact, we are actively raising funds to bolster the Student Emergency Retention Fund to ensure we have resources available to all Roadrunners.

Students who don't qualify for CARES Act federal funding or who have a need greater than funding available to them through the COVID-19 Impact Grant are encouraged to apply for the Student Emergency Retention Fund stipend through the Student Care Center. Please note that these funds are limited, and specific criteria must be met in order to qualify for a stipend.

If you have questions about any of these grant programs or your eligibility, please contact the Student Care Center or the Financial Aid Office. We’ve also created a CARES Act funding website with additional information and resources.

As ever, MSU Denver is committed to your success and we are here to help. We hope that these funds will provide some measure of relief during this unprecedented semester.



Will Simpkins, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

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