Emergency CARES grants available to UO students

The University of Oregon is preparing to distribute emergency grants to students experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UO will receive $8,047,973 in funds for students through the CARES Act, which was recently enacted by the U.S. Congress. Undergraduate and graduate UO students can receive grants to cover expenses that are a result of disruptions to campus operations caused by the coronavirus. 

Examples of eligible expenses for CARES Act funding include medical, food, housing, utility and technology expenses; relocation costs to return home; unexpected childcare; course materials; and other unexpected expenses included in the student’s cost of college attendance.

The U.S. Department of Education has stated that CARES Act funds can only go to students who are eligible to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, often referred to as FAFSA, for the 2019-20 academic year.

Eligible students are urged to apply online. Award amounts will vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances and specific expenses. The university anticipates significant demand for the funds, and awards may be less than the full amount a student requests.

Students who do not have a financial aid application on file with the UO do not have to submit one to receive funds. However, they will have to certify they are eligible to receive federal financial aid. Receiving CARES Act funds will not affect students’ current or future financial aid. More information is available through the financial aid office.

The university will begin reviewing student applications in the next two weeks, and funds will start being distributed to students who successfully apply in the next few weeks.

“This funding is extremely important to our students and the University of Oregon,” UO President Michael Schill said of the CARES Act funding. “I appreciate the Oregon delegation’s support for the legislation and especially U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. He played a leading role in shaping this legislation.”

The UO strongly encourages all eligible students to apply for the emergency grants.

However, the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance means international, DACA or undocumented students are not eligible for CARES Act funds. Students who were exclusively taking online courses or who withdrew from the UO prior to March 13 also are not eligible. 

The university has institutional funds available to assist students who are not eligible for federal CARES Act funding. That includes the recently expanded UO Students in Crisis Fund, which students can apply to for assistance through the Office of the Dean of Students.