CARES Act 30- and 45-Day Fund Report
As directed by the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the university provides the following information to satisfy requirements for the 30-Day and 45-Day Fund Report. This public notification serves to satisfy initial reporting requirements as provided by guidance from the Department of Education.
I. The University of Puget Sound signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 10, 2020. The university intends to use no less than 50 percent of total funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
II. Pursuant to the completion of the Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students, on April 22, 2020 the university requested from the Department of Education its full allocation of $709,028 for Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants. The university received its allocation from the Department on April 24, 2020.
a. As of May 20, 2020, $188,373.44 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act have been disbursed to 291 eligible students.
b. As of July 6. 2020, $285,430.82 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been disbursed to 521 eligible students.
This represents applications for Emergency Grant support received and processed from April 29, 2020 through July 6, 2020. Applications continue to be reviewed, using a method that captures applications weekly based on submissions received from Monday through Sunday.
III. As of July 6, 2020, grant award amounts have ranged from $25 to $3,107, with 456 grants less than or equal to $1,000 and 85 grants greater than $1,000. In general, grants are limited to $1,000 unless circumstances presented by students through the application process are particularly dire. The majority of grants have been provided to support technology needs for transitioning to remote learning, emergency travel expenses related to closure of campus residential facilities, professional packing fees for personal belongings left in residential spaces, return travel to campus to retrieve personal belongings, emergency return to the U.S. from out of country study abroad programs and to remedy food and housing insecurities.
IV. An estimated 1,745 students at the University of Puget Sound are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. The application process for CARES Act funding is open to students who were enrolled in spring 2020 at www.pugetsound.edu/caresactfunds. Further impact to students due to disruption of campus operations for summer term 2020 and fall 2020 will be considered should circumstances be presented.
V. The university is providing emergency grants to students through two pathways:
a. Students self-identify and apply for CARES Act grants through a simple online application process. Applications are reviewed for reasonableness, eligibility of expenses and eligibility of applicant under HEA rules. Once approved, an emergency grant award is made in the student’s financial aid records, the grant is posted to the student account and funds are disbursed to the student via E-Refund or via a paper check mailed to the student’s permanent address.
b. The university may identify groups of students who experience a qualified expense and make a block award to this group based on eligibility of expense and HEA eligibility of awardee. In this case the student need take no action to be considered for the block award. Award amounts will be created in student financial aid records, posted to the student account and disbursed to the student directly via E-Refund or paper check mailed to the student’s permanent address.
VI. On April 29, 2020, the university communicated to all enrolled students via an all-student email message the availability of CARES Act funding in support of emergency student aid grants. This communication included eligibility requirements under HEA rules, descriptions of eligible expenses covered by CARES Act, and the link to the simple online application residing on the university’s website. The university’s CARES Act website also includes full description of the CARES Act funding rules, eligibility requirements and descriptions of eligible expenses. Students receiving block awards are similarly notified, to include steps to complete a current FAFSA for non-filers so that student eligibility under HEA rules can be confirmed.
VII. The university will continue to update this information every 45 days from May 20, 2020 forward unless and until the Department of Education provides further guidance on institutional reporting requirements for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.