CARES Act Emergency Funds

Dear Saint Martin's students, faculty, staff and abbey members,

We wanted to provide an update on our efforts to find a way to help our students who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As we shared recently, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide nearly $1.2 million to Saint Martin's University in higher education emergency relief. By law, half of the funds received by institutions must be distributed directly to students in the form of grants to cover expenses related to unexpected financial needs due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that about $626,000 will be available for Saint Martin's University students.

These funds must be used towards expenses related to the COVID-19 campus disruption. Those expenses include but are not limited to: technology, childcare, course materials, food costs, housing costs, medical costs, travel, transportation, health insurance, moving or other expenses incurred during the spring semester. These funds cannot be requested to replace lost wages or to pay outstanding balances in a student account. Students can request funds based on expenses they have incurred due to the COVID-19 campus disruption this past spring semester.

Below is an FAQ about the CARES Act. The Office of Financial Aid will be reaching out to Saint Martin's students to share instructions on how to apply for funding using the Saint Martin's Federal CARES Act Funds Request form. Requests will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid on a rolling basis until the CARES Act funding is exhausted.

If you or any student you know has questions regarding the CARES Act funding or the CARES Act Funds Request form, please feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@stmartin.edu.

30-day reporting information

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    Saint Martin's University Federal CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund
    30-Day Reporting Information

    Acknowledgement of signed and certified CARES Act agreement form and intention to use the funds. Saint Martin's University signed the agreement on 4/10/2020 with an amended agreement signed on 4/23/2020 and received acknowledgement that the funds were available on 5/5/2020. We proceeded to contact eligible students via email on 5/13/2020 and continue to take email inquiries/requests at this time.
    Total student portion of CARES funding Saint Martin’s University received:$626,098 (50% of total received) will be awarded to students who have expenses related to the spring 2020 campus disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Total Federal CARES funding distributed to date:$580,589 to date and awarding will continue until all funds have been exhausted.
    Estimated total number of students at Saint Martin's University who were enrolled for spring semester 2020 and eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and therefore eligible to apply for and receive an emergency financial aid grant:1,084 students were enrolled for spring semester 2020 who met the requirements for Title IV aid eligibility.
    Total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant through the Federal CARES funds:389 awarded to date
    How Saint Martin's University determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.Saint Martin's University sent emails to every student who attended spring semester 2020 and filed a FAFSA proving their eligibility for Title IV Aid. The email provided each student with a link to the online Federal CARES Act Emergency Funding Request Form. This form categorized the types of expenses a student may have experienced due to the campus disruption and it provided student’s the opportunity to describe other expenses that the categories might not cover. Each form returned is reviewed by a financial aid staff member, and an award is made based on the expenses the student lists. Students received the amount of funding they asked for unless their listed expenses exceeded $3,000. In these cases, a maximum award amount of $3,000 was set to all the funding to reach as many students as possible.  
    Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.  Students were provided with a link to the University COVID-19 web site: https://www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus and a PDF version of the Federal CARES Act Emergency Funding FAQs with the link to this information: https://www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus/federal-cares-act.  Students were instructed to complete the online request form and to contact the Student Financial Service Center staff if they had questions at finaid@stmartin.edu. The email notice with the link to the online form informed students that the funds would not go towards any balance due, the funding will be paid directly to the student through their online refund option or via check, depending on how the student’s refund options were set-up. Students were also informed that request to replace lost wages were not considered expenses due to the campus disruption nor were refunds of tuition, fees, housing or meals. Students who contacted our office or contact our office after the JotForm was taken down will be instructed to email the finaid@stmartin.edu email with a detailed list of the expenses they incurred due to the spring 2020 disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These requests will be reviewed on an on-going basis until the funds are depleted.  

     

FAQs

  • What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund that allows colleges to receive money for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Saint Martin's University will award these funds under the name of the Federal CARES Act Award to eligible students.

  • Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?

    Students who are eligible to file a FAFSA and receive Title IV Financial Aid are eligible to receive these funds. The Office of Financial Aid will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine eligibility. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for these funds.

    Unfortunately, the Department of Education did not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students (DACA), students who were enrolled in 100% online classes during spring semester or students who were non-degree seeking during spring semester 2020.

  • When will the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?

    Saint Martin's University applied for funding from the federal CARES Act and we will notify students once we receive the funding from the Department of Education and are ready to start awarding.  Students will receive an email with a link to an online form where they will request CARES funds to cover expenses related to the COVID-19 spring semester campus disruption.  The funds request will be reviewed by SFSC staff and awards will be disbursed to students through their existing refund preference.  Students will receive an email once the funds are awarded. 

    CARES Act funding cannot be automatically applied towards a balance due. The Department of Education makes clear that this funding is for emergency cash grants to students only. The funds must be used specifically for expenses and costs that the student incurred related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The Department of Education notes that the student may use his or her emergency financial aid grant money as a reimbursement for the costs that he/she had to incur due to this disruption.

  • What types of expenses can be requested from the SMU Federal CARES Act Award?

    These funds must be used towards expenses related to the COVID-19 campus disruption.  Those expenses include but are not limited to: technology, childcare, course materials, food costs, housing costs, medical costs, travel, transportation, health insurance, moving or other expenses incurred during the spring semester.

    These funds cannot be requested to replace lost wages or to pay outstanding balances in a student account.  Students can request funds based on expenses they have incurred due to the COVID-19 campus disruption.

  • Will the Federal CARES Act funds be available for the 2020-2021 academic year?

    Saint Martin's University is focused on getting funding to as many students who need it for expenses incurred for spring semester 2020.  The Department of Education made allowances for schools to award these funds for the 2020-2021 academic year if schools do not expend all of their funding for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Saint Martin's University will continue to award these funds until they have been fully expended.