Skip to main content

CARES Act Information and Funding Application

Students enrolled at Georgia Southern during spring semester who have emergency financial needs related to the disruption of campus operations caused by coronavirus may apply for a CARES Act Emergency Fund Grant. CARES Grants are available to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis. Although award amounts may vary, the maximum amount a student can receive through the application process is $1,000. Students who have already received a CARES Grant from Georgia Southern may be able to receive additional emergency funds for qualifying, documented financial needs.

Grants may be provided to students who submit documentation for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including eligible cost of attendance expenses such as housing, food, technology, and child care expenses incurred after March 13, 2020. To be considered eligible for the grant, students must have a 2019-2020 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with Georgia Southern. Students who do not currently have a FAFSA on file can submit the application online at studentaid.gov; in order to have eligibility for the grant confirmed within the distribution timeline, Georgia Southern must receive the 2019-2020 FAFSA no later than May 18, 2020. To meet this deadline, students are strongly encouraged to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible, but no later than May 11, 2020.

Suggested documentation for each category of expense includes:

  • Housing disruption: evidence of continued payments for local lease after moving home, payments for unexpected moving expenses
  • Food: explanation of need associated with unexpected food costs
  • Technology needed to continue learning in an online environment
  • Child care disruption: evidence of payment for unexpected child care costs
  • Other: evidence of payment associated with disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus

A completed application does not guarantee that you will receive funding. If an application is submitted without appropriate documentation, it will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered for funding. Due to the expected volume of applications and limited funding, there will not be an appeal process. 

Eligibility

Most undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to participate in Title IV programs may apply. To confirm eligibility, Georgia Southern must have a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file for the student by May 18, 2020. Students who are enrolled in fully online programs, dual enrollment, transient, non-degree and international students are not eligible for funding.

How to Apply

The application opens on Friday, May 8th. To apply for the CARES Act Emergency Fund grant, go to the application login site, click Apply, then enter your MyGS credentials to access the application. You must complete all required fields and upload at least one supporting document to successfully submit the application. The deadline to apply is May 13, 2020.  

CARES Act Allocation Information

The federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided financial resources to colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) . These resources allow universities to distribute grants to students in need to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Georgia Southern has signed and returned to the Department the Certification an agreement that assures we intend to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Georgia Southern’s total allocation is $22,748,221, meaning that $11,374,111 will be going to students. 

Georgia Southern’s allocation to students is divided into several groups, as described below. While some money is still to be allocated in Groups 3 and 4, Georgia Southern’s first stage will reach 48.8% of our students, or 15,862 individuals.

Georgia Southern’s allocation to students is divided into several groups:

Group 1

Most undergraduate students enrolled during spring 2020 with a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with Georgia Southern as of April 23, 2020 will receive a CARES Act grant in the amount of $360. In accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education, undergraduate students who are enrolled in fully online programs, dual enrollment, transient, non-degree, international students, and those not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress or other Title IV eligibility criteria are not eligible for this grant.

Group 2

In addition to the amount received in Group 1, undergraduate students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will receive a grant in addition to their Group 1 award based on their EFC and enrollment status (full-time or part-time). Awards in Group 2 range from $290 to $650.

Group 3

Students enrolled at Georgia Southern during spring semester who have emergency financial needs related to the disruption of campus operations caused by coronavirus may apply for a CARES Act Emergency Fund Grant. CARES Grants are available to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis. Although award amounts may vary, the maximum amount a student can receive through the application process is $1,000. Students who have already received a CARES Grant from Georgia Southern may be able to receive additional emergency funds for qualifying, documented financial needs.

Group 4 (Summer students only)

Similar to Group 2, eligible undergraduate students who are enrolled for summer 2020 with a low Expected Family Contribution will receive a grant based on their EFC and enrollment status (full-time or part-time). Amounts to be awarded are yet to be determined. Students who have yet to successfully file a 2019-2020 FAFSA must do so no later than May 15, 2020 to be considered for eligibility for grants awarded in Group 4.

Overall number of eligible students: 16,235

Total Amount of CARES Act Grants to students in Group 1 and 2: $9,872,355

The number of students who received a payment under Group 1: 15,377 ($360 each)

The number of students who received additional payment amounts in Group 2: 7,754

Breakdown of Students Who Received Additional Payment Amounts in Group 2

$0 EFC

EnrollmentRecipientsAdditional Payment
Part-time enrollment*631 recipients $400 additional per student
Full-time enrollment**3,020 recipients $650 additional per student

$1 – 3,000 EFC

EnrollmentRecipientsAdditional Payment
Part-time enrollment*363 recipients $325 additional per student
Full-time enrollment**2,320 recipients $575 additional per student

$3,001 – 6,000 EFC

EnrollmentRecipientsAdditional Payment
Part-time enrollment*194 recipients $290 additional per student
Full-time enrollment**1,226 recipients $500 additional per student

*part-time enrollment equals 11 or fewer credits

**full-time enrollment equals 12 or more credits

CARES Act FAQs from the IRS (pdf)

If you have questions, please email caresact@georgiasouthern.edu

University Communications

Students,

Recently, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes direct monetary grants to qualified college students, to help offset financial challenges caused by the disruption in campus operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Education has instructed Georgia Southern University to prioritize students with the greatest need and to ensure that these funds are distributed as widely as possible.

For those who qualify, CARES Act notifications and funding will start arriving this week via the university’s normal refund check process. It is imperative that students’ home address and direct deposit information are up to date. If any corrections are needed to your personal information, please reference this direct deposit link for instructions for updating your banking information.  If you chose to continue to receive manual checks, please confirm or update your permanent home address in your WINGS account by selecting “Personal Information,” then “View Address & Phone.” 

Grant amounts will vary based on each student’s eligibility status. More than 15,000 Georgia Southern Students will receive funds in their accounts by the end of this week. Grants will vary from $360 to about $1,000.

A separate fund has been established from this funding to allow students to apply for additional aid if certain emergency circumstances apply. The application process will be open to all students eligible for Title IV funding who are currently enrolled in the Spring and/or Summer 2020 semester. For details on the criteria for eligibility and application process, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/cares/.

Please note:

  • Based on federal guidelines, students who are dual enrolled, non-degree seeking, fully online, and transient are not eligible for some grant funding. In addition to these federal restrictions, those students who are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress are not eligible.
  • These funds are grants and do not have to be paid back at a later date.  
  • These grants may be taxable as income. The federal government has not yet provided guidance on taxability, so we recommend that you keep a record of these funds and/or consult a tax professional.   

For detailed information, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/cares/.  If you have additional questions, please submit a ticket to caresact@georgiasouthern.edu.

We recognize that these funds may not be enough to address all of the hardships faced by all Georgia Southern students. Still, we hope that these resources reduce the burdens faced by a number of you, including paying for your education. We understand how challenging and stressful this time is, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate these difficult times together.