Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds
In response to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government allocated funds to institutions of higher education to provide timely economic relief to students negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The University of Minnesota system received two allocations:
- In spring 2020, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (better known as the CARES Act).
- In early 2021, as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA).
CRRSAA (early 2021)
There are multiple channels of distribution for CRRSAA funding to students.
Block grants are intended to be used broadly to support students how they see fit. Students who receive a block grant will be notified via email. Block grants may be used to cover bills, replenish savings, take care of basic needs, or pay for educational expenses such as tuition.
The University of Minnesota’s Office of Student Finance used a formula to determine eligibility. No application was necessary for this block grant.
Block grants for UMD graduate and professional students are available to 1) students who could not finish their program due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) graduate students with high financial need based on their 2020-21 FAFSA.
Eligibility criteria for the degree-completion block grant for graduate and professional students is restricted to students who:
- planned to graduate in the calendar year 2020 or spring 2021, but have not because they were unable to make research or academic progress,
- have a FAFSA on file,
- do not have support for summer 2021, and
- are currently enrolled this spring 2021 semester.
Eligibility criteria for the need-based block grant for graduate students is restricted to students who:
- are currently enrolled for a minimum of one degree credit this spring 2021 semester,
- have a FAFSA on file, and
- and have a demonstrated high financial need based on 2020-21 FAFSA results.
Need-based block grants are intended to be used broadly to support students how they see fit. Students who receive a block grant will be notified via email. Block grants may be used to cover bills, replenish savings, take care of basic needs, or pay for educational expenses such as tuition.
Note that both graduate and professional students with a FAFSA on file are also eligible to apply for emergency grant funds (see above).
A portion of the University’s funding is being used to help eligible undergraduate students complete their degrees or advance their degree progress during the coming summer and fall terms. Eligible students will be identified using their APAS reports and notified by email when they receive these funds.