CARES Act Student Funding

About the CARES Act

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Wichita State University has received funds to provide emergency grants to students with unforeseen emergency expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a degree-seeking student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (or 5 credit hours for graduate students) in the Spring 2020 semester;
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid;
  • Must have submitted a 2019-2020 FAFSA or be eligible to submit a 2019-2020 FAFSA;
  • Must not have been enrolled in a fully-online program as of March 13, 2020;
  • Have documented financial need or hardship due to COVID-19.

In accordance with Department of Education guidelines, WSU will distribute CARES Act emergency funding for eligible students in two ways:

  • Direct awards of $1,000 will be given to students receiving Pell Grants who also have unmet need after other gift aid and who the federal government defines as having exceptional need based on a student’s 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. Students in this group do not need to request or apply for these funds; they will receive automatic notification of the award via their WSU email account. Funds will be processed through student accounts and will transferred via direct deposit or, if the student does not have banking information on file, via paper check (which will be mailed to the student). 
  • Remaining CARES Act Emergency funds will be set aside for eligible students to access through an application process. Students in this group must have filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA or be eligible to file a FAFSA.  Students in this category will be notified of their eligibility via their WSU email account and must complete the application form found here. The priority date for applications is May 8, 2020, and the final deadline for applications is May 15, 2020. Factors such as job loss, childcare or medical expenses, housing or food insecurity, an inability to pay for educational supplies, technology, or expenses will be considered. Students in this category will be eligible to receive up to $1,000. Funds will be processed through student accounts and will transferred via direct deposit or, if the student does not have banking information on file, via paper check (which will be mailed to the student).

Frequently Asked Questions

How will Wichita State distribute the funds?

All emergency grants will be processed through student accounts. Emergency grants will be directly deposited into bank accounts for students who are enrolled in direct deposit. Students without direct deposit will receive a paper check via mail. The funds will not be applied to past or current charges or outstanding balances.

Do I have to file a FAFSA to be eligible for this funding?

Yes. You will have to have an accepted 2019-2020 FAFSA on file. If you have not completed a 2019-2020 FAFSA, you can find the application here.

How do I apply for this funding?
Pell-eligible students with unmet need after other gift aid do not need to apply for funding; they will receive automatic notification of the award via their WSU email account. Otherwise eligible students who are not automatically awarded funding will receive an email via their WSU email of their eligibility. These students will need to complete the COVID-19 Financial Assistance Request Form.
How much will I be awarded if I am eligible?
Pell-eligible students will receive a one-time distribution of $1,000. All other eligible students will be eligible to receive a one-time distribution of up to $1,000($500-$1,000).  Awards are dependent on your eligibility, your financial need, the overall applicant pool, and available funds.
Will these funds be applied to my student account and then sent to bank account?
The funds will pass through your student account, but they will be refunded directly to you (via direct deposit, if available, or by paper check, which will be mailed to you).  The funds will not be applied to past or current charges.
Can you apply these funds to my current or past-due balance?
These funds can only be used for specific costs that you incurred as a result of the COVID-19 campus disruption.  These costs include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
Will these funds count against my future financial aid eligibility?
No. These funds can only be used for specific costs that you incurred as a result of the COVID-19 campus disruption.  These costs include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
Earlier this year, I was told I could not receive any additional aid due to being at my Cost of Attendance.  Will I still be eligible to receive these funds?
Federal CARES Act funds are allowed even if the funds will cause you to go over your Cost of Attendance. 
My program is a hybrid of online and in-person classes.  This semester, my classes happened to be all online.  Does that disqualify me from being eligible for these funds?
Yes, if you were enrolled in all online classes on March 13, 2020, then you are not eligible for federal CARES Act funding, but there may be institutional funds you may qualify for by completing the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund Application available on our website.
Is there a deadline to apply for funds?
The priority date is May 8, 2020, and the final deadline is May 15, 2020.
I am a Pell-grant recipient; why did I not receive the automatic $1,000 CARES Act grant?

Due to limited funding received, the initial distribution of CARES Act funding was disbursed to Pell grant recipients who had unmet need and had not received other gift aid for Cost of Attendance such as books, meals, and other living expenses.  

If you are experiencing hardships and did not receive funds, please complete the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund Application available on our website.

 NOTE: This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.