CARES Act Student Funding

About the CARES Act

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act / Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), 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. 

Financial Difficulties/Changes Due to COVID-19: If your family is experiencing financial issues (such as the loss of a job, reduction of income, or other extenuating circumstance), related specifically to the impact of the pandemic or otherwise, and would like to discuss emergency financial aid options and/or information about the process of a Professional Judgment for the 2021–2022 academic year, schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid advisor at wichita.edu/finaidappt.

Spring 2021 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a degree-seeking student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (or 5 credit hours for graduate students) through the end of the Fall 2020 semester and at least 6 credit hours (or 5 credit hours for graduate students) during the Spring 2021 semester;
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid and meeting financial aid satisfactory academic progress;
  • Must have submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA;
  • Must not have current gift aid (scholarships, grants, outside resources) in excess of $20,000 (the approximate value of direct costs)
  • Must not have previously received CARES/HEERF Student, Institutional, or Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) funds this aid year (2020-2021)
  • Have documented, exceptional 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 three ways:

  • Direct Awards to Pell Grant Recipients: Spring 2021 direct awards of $1,400 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 2020-2021 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). Students in this group have been pre-identified for eligibility and do NOT need to apply.
  • Direct Awards to High-Need Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Spring 2021 direct awards of $1,000 will be given to students with an expected family contribution (EFC, as reported on their FAFSA) below 10,000 who also have unmet need after other gift aid and who the federal government defines as having exceptional need based on a student’s 2020-2021 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). Students in this group have been pre-identified for eligibility and do NOT need to apply.
  • Application: The application period has closed. Students who are ineligible for CARES Act Emergency grants or those who are experiencing severe hardship due to COVID-19 related circumstances/expenses can communicate that to the Office of Financial Aid through an application process for consideration. Students must be enrolled for spring 2021 and have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA (if eligible). 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 given priority. Students in this category will be eligible to receive between $500 - $1,000. Only students with exceptional need and COVID-related hardships will be considered for this funding. Awarded students will be notified via their WSU email. 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).  

Fall 2020 Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a degree-seeking student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (or 5 credit hours for graduate students) in the Fall 2020 semester;
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid;
  • Must have submitted a 2020-2021 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:

  • Fall 2020 CARES Act Emergency funds will be set aside for eligible students to access through an application process. Students must have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA or be eligible to file a FAFSA.  Students will be notified of their eligibility via their WSU email account and must complete the application form found hereThe priority date for applications is December 1, 2020, and the final deadline for applications is December 7, 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 between $500 - $2,000. 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).

Spring 2020 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).

 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.