The CARES Act, which was passed by Congress in late March, provides funding to assist students through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. UMBC has been granted a pool of CARES Act Emergency Grant funds to offer to students who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the disruption of campus operations and the transition to online learning, as a result of COVID-19.
These emergency grants can be used to cover costs students have incurred due to the disruption of campus operations, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care expenses.
Am I eligible to receive the funds for Fall 2020?
If you are currently enrolled in the fall semester, pursuing a degree (undergraduate or graduate), eligible for federal financial aid and demonstrate a high level of need (based on FAFSA), you may be eligible. The federal criteria include, meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (or on fall financial aid probation), citizenship criteria for FAFSA and all other eligibility criteria that must be met to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Students enrolled in online or non-degree programs, international students and undocumented students are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grant funding.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will contact eligible students the week of 9/21/20. These students will receive both an email and an alert placed on the myUMBC account with instructions and a link to complete the CARES Emergency Grant Request Form.
I received the grant for the Spring 2020 semester. Can I get it for the Fall 2020 semester too?
Yes, if you are identified as eligible and receive an email and alert on your myUMBC account from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships with a link to complete the CARES Emergency Grant Request Form, you may receive the grant again provided you meet all eligibility criteria.
How do I apply?
Complete the CARES Emergency Grant Request Form sent by email or via the link in the to-do posted to your myUMBC account.
I don’t have receipts, is that ok?
Receipts are not required to document your financial impact.
Will I have to repay my grant?
No, any emergency grant that you receive will not need to be repaid.
When will I be notified if I am approved?
Request forms will be reviewed weekly. If approved, you will receive an email stating the amount of your award and when the funds will be applied to your billing account.
How much can I get?
The maximum emergency grant UMBC is awarding is $800.
How will I get the funds?
If approved, the grant will be applied directly to your UMBC billing account. It will not pay any outstanding charges. The entire grant will be refunded to you. You will receive the funds via your refund preference. Generally, this will be the same manner you received any recalculation of spring fees/room/board.
Will it pay my bill?
This grant is specifically to assist with costs you incurred (or are incurring) due to the disruption of campus operations this spring. It is not permitted to pay for any charges due to the university. It will be refunded to you.
Is this financial aid? Is it income?
Although you must be eligible for Title IV financial aid, these emergency funds do not count as part of your financial aid offer for spring. You will not see the emergency fund appear as part of your financial aid for this year. It will not impact any of the other financial aid you are receiving.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act will not be considered taxable income. Further information about how the funds are considered for tax purposes can be found on the IRS website.
Am I eligible to receive the funds for Spring 2020?
If you are currently enrolled in the spring semester, pursuing a degree (undergraduate or graduate), eligible for federal financial aid and demonstrate a level of need (based on FAFSA), you may be eligible. The federal criteria include, meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (or on spring financial aid probation), citizenship criteria for FAFSA and all other eligibility criteria that must be met to be eligible for federal financial aid.
These federal funds will not be available to students enrolled in an online or non-degree program, international students or undocumented students.
The Financial Aid Office is identifying potentially eligible students, based on the above criteria, and reaching out via email the week of 5/4/20. These students will have an alert added to their myUMBC account with information and a link to the CARES Emergency Grant Request Form.
Required Federal Reporting
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding Report
CARES Act Emergency Grants to Students
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) signed a Certification and Agreement to receive funds from the U. S. Department of Education, which are part of the CARES Act funding provided under Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF). The certification to provide CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants was signed on April 21, 2020. Fifty percent (50%) of the funds received under the HEERF will be used to provide emergency grants to UMBC students.
UMBC has been allocated $4,657,829, which will be used to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to its students. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships identified a total of 6,880 students who met all eligibility requirements as described above. The office advised each student of their eligibility for the grant and provided an electronic certification for them to request the funds and certify that they would be used for COVID-19 related expenses. As of 10/9/2020, UMBC has distributed $3,805,510 in CARES Act Emergency Grants to 3,738 students.