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The Cares Act

Cares Act FAQ

Update: All CARES/HEERF funding has been exhausted and no future disbursements will be made.

What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law and provides funds to higher education institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to eligible students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

What expenses can be covered by a CARES Emergency Grant?

Grants are for students who have experienced additional expenses due to COVID-19. Grant funds can help students pay for eligible expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. Per Department of Education (ED) guidance, loss of income alone is not a valid reason to receive CARES funding.

Can a CARES Emergency Grant be used to refund institutional charges to me such as tuition and fees?

No. Per the HEERF, institutions can not use these funds to refund student tuition, fees, meal plan or dorm charges. These funds are emergency funds to help student cover additional expenses cause by the disruption campus operations due to the pandemic.

Who is eligible?

The federal government has established the eligibility criteria that students must meet in order to receive CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Grants. Only students who are eligible for federal aid can be considered.

  • You must have completed a 19/20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Must have been enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester when SUNY Oswego transitioned to the online learning format for the continuation of that semester.
  • The U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Grants to be awarded to:
    • Students who aren't eligible for Title IV aid;
    • International students;
    • Undocumented students; and
    • Students enrolled exclusively in online courses before March 13, 2020.

SUNY Oswego recognizes that eligibility requirements for these funds are evolving and this based on the latest guidance given from the US Department of Education. Should these requirements change, we will notify students.

How do I apply?

If you are a student that received a Pell Grant during Spring 2020 or an enrolled EOP student, you are automatically eligible for the funding as a block grant and will complete the funding certification via your myOswego portal. This certification must be received prior your award being disbursed.

If you are not a Pell Grant eligible or an EOP student, you will receive an application via your myOswego to apply for emergency grant electronically. If you are unable to apply electronically, please email [email protected] and we will email you an application. Please be sure to include supporting documentation for your expenses. The funding is limited and priority will be given to students based on their need and the funds available at the time they applied.

If you are a Pell/EOP student receiving a block grant, you can not apply for additional CARES emergency grant funding via this application process.

How much could I receive?

  • Pell Eligible/EOP students will receive $1,000.
  • Non Pell eligible/non EOP students can receive up to a maximum of $1,000 based on their documented allowable expenses.

How will I receive my grant money?

Your funds will be disbursed directly to you via your chosen method of receiving your refund. We encourage students to setup their refund preference via myOswego. Please note that CARES Act funding cannot be applied toward any outstanding charges you may have with SUNY Oswego.

Contact and questions

If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected].

View more about SUNY Oswego’s SUNY approved disbursement plan for CARES funding and other important disclosure information.

Office of
Financial Aid

231 Sheldon Hall

Phone: 315-312-2248
Fax: 315-312-3696
Email: [email protected]
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