Dear USF students,
USF’s leaders have been working hard with our local, state and federal partners to support you during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the weekend, USF received its $17.4 million portion of a $2.2 trillion economic relief package from the U.S. Department of Education, provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be used for emergency student aid.
USF will distribute the funds to assist as many of our eligible students as possible to alleviate financial hardships that may impede your academic plans. Please note that funding from the CARES Act comes with eligibility requirements as determined and enforced by the federal government. Current degree-seeking students enrolled at least half time in spring 2020 who are eligible to apply for federal Title IV financial aid are eligible to apply for CARES Act funds. Students enrolled in fully online graduate programs, international, and undocumented students are not eligible per U.S. Department of Education Guidelines.
Students with demonstrated needs who did not receive the full $1,000 maximum from
the USF United Support Fund are eligible to apply for an additional CARES Act grant.
Students who applied for an award from the USF United Support Fund and did not receive
an award before those funds were depleted should also apply for a CARES Act grant.
Eligible students are invited to complete the Federal CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Application for consideration for a grant, starting April 27 through Aug. 7, 2020, or until the funds are depleted. Priority will be given to FAFSA filers who have exhausted all financial aid options and who have been impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
- Student and/or spouse loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss);
- parental loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss);
- or other unexpected circumstances.
Examples of expenses eligible to be covered by CARES Act grants include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical bills, food, housing, utilities, technology, course materials, and other unexpected expenses that contribute to the student’s total cost of USF attendance.
For more information about the federal CARES Act grant and USF’s distribution of the
grant, an FAQ has been created to address your questions.
We are already hearing from students whose financial situation is stable now but are concerned about their circumstances in the summer and fall. Given the unknown continued impact of the coronavirus throughout the next several months, a small portion of the federal funding for USF students will be held back for distribution to students during the summer and/or fall.
USF is grateful to our federal leaders for providing this important CARES Act emergency funding and helping us support our students. Please explore the grant information and apply early for consideration.
Paul Dosal, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Success
University of South Florida