CARES Act FAQs

What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the Federal Government?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund  sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

What type of grants are available at UCLA as a result of CARES ACT funding*

There are 3 types of new grants available at UCLA as a result of CARE Act: 
1. UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant ($200) 
2. UCLA Universal Impact Grant ($200)
3. UCLA CARES Need Based Grant

How do I apply for CARES Grants?

UCLA Universal Grants require that you complete a short application/affidavit form to request this funding at https://sa.ucla.edu/fao/cares.  Your request/application must be completed by June 5, 2020. Once it is processed, if you are FAFSA eligible, your eligibility will be calculated by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and you will be awarded. If you are an undocumented or international student you will be directed to provide additional information and an impact statement. Your request will be evaluated by a committee and your grant will be processed if/when the committee approves your request.  


Need Based Grant does not require undergraduate students who have a completed 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file to complete a separate application. Financial Aid and Scholarships office will determine your eligibility based on the information provided on your 2019/2020 FAFSA. If you are a graduate or professional student, Graduate Division will determine your eligibility.

Impact Grant -If you did not qualify for the Need-Based CARE Grant or have additional Covid-19 related expenses that were not covered by the Universal or Need-Based Grants provided, you can request a UCLA Impact Grant by submitting a CARES Appeal Form to: Financial Aid and Scholarships Office via MyUCLA Message Center by selecting topic – Universal Impact Grants: Financial Aid.


Can I change my mind about donating my Universal CARES Grant to another student?

You can submit a new application at https://sa.ucla.edu/fao/cares, if you made an error on your previous submission or changed your mind about donating the funds to another needy student. Please allow 1-3 days for the Universal CARES Grant to be processed.

Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?

Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid, who have experienced impacts and have the greatest financial need can be considered for these funds. The UCLA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will use Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility for the Financial Aid Care Grant. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20, a short application/affidavit form will be required to request your grant.

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at the UCLA during Spring Quarter 2020.

The U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs. If you are a student from one of these groups, there are other types of emergency aid supported by UCLA available. Please see the questions below for details on applying for these emergency impact aid programs.

What is the UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant?

We have adopted the principle that all UCLA students have been impacted by COVID-19 in some capacity. A Universal $200 Impact Grant will be awarded to all CARES-eligible undergraduate and graduate students. We will maximize the eligible group by launching a MyUCLA web form (initially available through May 22nd) to determine FAFSA eligibility (affidavit). An opt out provision will be incorporated to “donate your share to a fellow Bruin in need.” The opt out dollars will be added to the Impact Grants funding pool.

What is the UCLA CARES Needs Based Impact Relief Grant?

The CARES Act directed universities to prioritize students whose family income is in the low- to low-middle income categories and UCLA wants to provide economic relief quickly to students who may have experienced additional expenses in spring quarter due to COVID-19. We have used the CARES Act emergency aid funds to establish standard relief grants ranging from $200-$1850 based on your circumstances and the family income reported on your FAFSA.

These funds are meant to help students pay expenses for technology, health care, child care, course materials, rent, food moving or other expenses incurred this quarter. If you have yet to experience financial stress due to COVID-19, these funds can help with unanticipated expenses or income loss that may occur throughout the quarter and into future quarters.

Some students who file individual requests for assistance may also receive other UCLA Emergency Aid as we continue to provide assistance to students who encounter new financial challenges from the pandemic.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?

Awarding and disbursing grants will start during the week of May 11th. UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grants will continue to be processed as students complete their applications. Financial Aid recipients who receive a CARES grant will be notified of their award via an updated Financial Aid Notification (FAN) on MyUCLA. All recipients will be notified via a message to their UCLA email account when their refund is processed by Student Accounts Office.


How will my CARES Grant funds be disbursed?

Disbursements will be processed via BruinBill. These funds will not be applied against any charges in your BruinBill account. Students enrolled in Bruin Direct will receive the refunds in their bank account within 2-3 business days of the grant disbursement posting to their BruinBill.

IMPORTANT REFUND INFORMATION

  • Enrolled in BruinDirect? Please check your BruinBill to make sure your banking information is correct to receive your direct deposit refund.

  • Not Enrolled in BruinDirect? If you are not enrolled in BruinDirect and have a U.S. bank account, please log into your BruinBill to enroll today. This is the fastest and most assured way to get your refund.

  • Cannot Enroll in BruinDirect? If you cannot enroll in BruinDirect because you are unable to establish a U.S. bank account, please check here for updates on refund options for international and undocumented students. If you are receiving a paper check refund please make sure that your mailing address on MyUCLA is current.

What emergency relief funds are available for Undocumented students?

The U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES funding to provide grants to undocumented students. Undocumented students are eligible for the $200 Universal Impact Grants funded by institutional and private donation fund sources and can request additional support through the application form.If you have higher COVID-19 expenses than the standard relief grant amounts, you can submit a request to our Economic Consultation and Response Team (ECRT) https://www.studentincrisis.ucla.edu/Economic-Crisis-Response

You may also want to review the support and resources of the UCLA Undocumented Student Program (USP) https://www.usp.ucla.edu/

What emergency relief funds are available for International students?

Under U.S. Department of Education, international students are not eligible for the federal CARES funds. UCLA will provide similar grant relief from other institutional and private donation fund sources to international students who meet the same criteria for eligibility and greatest financial need as those students receiving a UCLA CARES Act Relief grant. These grants are funded by non-federal sources. The grant amounts will include the $200 Impact Relief support and a needs based amount based on the criteria.

If you have higher COVID-19 expenses than the standard relief grant amounts, you can submit a request to our Economic Consultation and Response Team (ECRT) https://www.studentincrisis.ucla.edu/Economic-Crisis-Response

You may also want to review the support and resources of the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars https://www.internationalcenter.ucla.edu/

Why didn’t I receive a UCLA CARES Act Impact Relief Grant?

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. Additional factors that may affect your eligibility are: less than half time enrollment, not being registered in Spring quarter, having withdrawn, not being a matriculated student. UCLA has created a process to support you with Impact relief support from other institutional or private donations. These funds have limitations, but we encourage you to complete the request form via MyUCLA. We will quickly review all submissions to determine the support level.

Will there be CARES funds for 2020-21?

At this time, our priority is to award Spring 20 eligible students. We will continue to monitor  federal and state economic conditions, as well as the prospects for additional federal emergency funding for universities and students.  Additional information will be available later this Spring if additional funds will be available in 2020-2021, including Summer 2020. This FAQ page will be updated with relevant information as it becomes available. 

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Can I submit more than one application for the Universal CARES Grant?

You can submit a new application, if you made an error on your previous submission. For example, if you erroneously indicated that you want to donate your award to another needy student and want to receive the funds. Please allow 1-3 days for the Universal CARES Grant to be processed. Submitting more than one application requesting Universal CARES Grant will not expedite the process nor will it result in more than one award being processed. If you requested an award, received $200 and decided that you would rather donate the funds to another needy student, you will need to contact Financial Aid and Scholarships office

Will grant funds be applied to my current Spring 20 bill?*

No. The CARES Act Grant funding cannot be paid towards your bill. These funds will be disbursed to your UCLA account and refunded to you directly via BruinDirect (if enrolled) or via paper check sent via USPS. Once you receive the funds, you can then use them as you see fit. These funds are for your expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

If I am awarded a grant, will be current aid be affected?*

No. Your current Financial Aid Awards will not be affected. 

If I am awarded a grant, what happens next*

The grant funds will be automatically accepted and disbursed to your UCLA Bruin Bill student account. If you have a FAFSA on file, a new FAN will be generated to inform you of the recent award activity. You do not need to accept the funds via your FAN since the funds will be auto-accepted for you.

Do I have to complete requested verification documentation to be eligible?*

If you were selected for Federal or Institutional Verification, you are not required to complete all requested verification documentation listed on your MyUCLA Document List to be eligible for the Universal Care Impact Grant.

However; you do need to complete all requested documentation in order to be considered for the UCLA CARES Need Based grant

How will my eligibility for the UCLA CARES Need Based Grant be determined?*

Undergraduate Students:

Differential levels of funding (ranging from $200 to $1,850) will be provided to undergraduate students with various levels of need with additional funding provided for vulnerable populations who have financial need: students with dependents, former foster youth, students who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, students with disabilities and system impacted students. All eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time in Spring 2020.

Students who received refunds to include UCLA housing costs but canceled their contracts will not be considered for these funds. Financial Aid and Scholarships never adjusted refunds to exclude your housing expenses, which would have made the additional funds available in your refund to cover Covid-19 related expenses. 


Graduate/Professional Students:
If you are a graduate or professional student, Graduate Division will determine your eligibility. Please contact Graduate Division Fellowships and Financial Services at https://grad.ucla.edu/contact-us/

Will grant funding be applied to my current Spring 20 bill?*

No. The CARES Act Grant funding cannot be paid towards your bill. These funds will be disbursed to your UCLA account and refunded to you directly via BruinDirect (if enrolled) or via paper check sent via USPS. Once you receive the funds, you can then use them as you see fit. These funds are for your expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

How much can I receive in CARES Act Grant funding?*

  • CARES Universal Impact Grants are $200

  • CARES Need Based Grants are based on need and the award amounts will vary 

Are there other avenues available due to loss of income?*

Students and families who have experienced a loss of wages due to COVID-19 can engage in the existing process of submitting a 2019-2020 Projected Year Income Appeal available on the Financial Aid and Scholarships Website under the Forms and Publications section

Are there options available to students who have additional Covid-related expenses that have not been covered by Universal CARES Grant or Need Based CARES Grant?

If you did not qualify for the Need-Based CARE Grant or have additional COVID-19 related expenses that were not covered by the Universal or Need-Based Grants provided, you can request a UCLA Impact Grant by submitting a CARES Appeal Form to:
Financial Aid and Scholarships Office MyUCLA Message Center. Upon logging into Message Center, select the Topic as: Universal Impact Grants: Financial Aid.
 
OR
 
To the Economic Crisis Response Team by visiting https://www.studentincrisis.ucla.edu/Economic-Crisis-Response
Please note that you must have filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA or DREAM Act Application in order for us to determine if you can qualify for additional resources.

 




 


Are there enrollment requirements?*

Yes. You must be registered for Spring 2020 and enrolled at least half time (4 units graduate/professional students and 6 units undergraduate students) to be considered for a CARES Act Grant.

Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant FAQs

 

I completed the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant survey. When will notifications and funding occur?

Final funding decisions and disbursements are likely to occur the week of June 1.

I received a $200 award from the UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant. How was it determined?

The $200 awarded was a “flat amount” for all eligible students overseen by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. For more details, visit: https://financialaid.ucla.edu/cares-act-faq

I received an email regarding my eligibility to receive the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant. I previously received an e-mail regarding UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant. Are these two grants the same?

No, these are two separate funding programs. The Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant funding program is for graduate and professional students only.

I filled out the survey. What happens next?

Your survey responses are forwarded to your home academic department. They will make a need determination and provide a recommendation to the Graduate Division. The Graduate Division will make a final review and if awarded, will process funding. 

Can I make changes to my survey responses after submitting?

No. Please review all of your responses carefully prior to acknowledging and submitting the survey.

What is the criteria that Graduate Division will be using to consider the release of this need-based grant?

The Graduate Division will rely on departments to measure the need for each student. Data will then be consolidated to identify those who are neediest. 

I filled out the application for the UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant via MyUCLA. Will this funding affect the Graduate COVID-19 Impact fund amount I will potentially receive?

No. They are two separate COVID-19 related funding programs. 

I received an email asking me to complete an application for the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant. How do I know if I am eligible?

You are eligible for consideration if you received an email invitation and completed the survey by May 22.  Notifications and funding will begin the week of June 1. 

I received $200 from the UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant. Will it impact my eligibility for the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant?

The $200 you received does not impact your eligibility for the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant.

I completed the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant Fund survey and subsequently received $200 prior to June 1. Is this the funding from the survey?

No. The $200 is from the UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant. 

If I receive funding from the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant, when and how long will it take for me to receive the funding?

If enrolled in Bruin Direct, you can expect to receive the award in 1-3 business days (depending on your financial institution) after funding recommendation has been made by your home academic department. Awards will start disbursing beginning the week of June 1. 

If awarded, how will I receive the COVID-19 Impact Grant funding?

If you are enrolled in Bruin Direct for fellowship payments, funding will be deposited to your designated bank account. If you are not enrolled in Bruin Direct, a paper check will be mailed to the local mailing address on file

I did not receive the amount I requested in the survey. Is there an appeals process?

No. Funding is limited and it is utilized to provide funding to as many eligible graduate and professional students as possible. 

I already submitted my responses to the survey but later received an email from Graduate Division regarding supplemental requirements. Do you need more information?

No further information is required if you already completed both the UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant and the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant surveys.

I received the message: Thank you for your interest in the Universal CARES Grant. Our records show you have already submitted a Universal CARES Grant request and have been awarded. What does it mean?

This accounts for the $200 that you received from the UCLA CARES Universal Impact grant.

Are there enrollment requirements in order to receive Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant funding?

Yes. You must be registered for Spring 2020 and enrolled at least halftime (4 units graduate/professional students) to be considered for a Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant.

I applied to receive the Graduate COVID-19 Impact Grant. However, I am no longer in need of the grant and prefer it go to struggling students in financial need. Can I rescind my application?

Yes. Contact your home department and inform them that you want to rescind your application and no longer considered.