CARES Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

A Message from the CSUDH Administration

Dear Campus Community,

The COVID-19 crisis has affected not only the health and safety of our nation, but also placed a financial strain on it as well. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March has sought to protect the financial welfare of the American people and our economy.

A provision of the CARES Act, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) specifically provides money to universities to assist with COVID-19-related expense and give direct aid to students most in need during this difficult time. CSUDH received approximately $18.4 million of emergency stimulus funds through HEERF, of which half, or $9.2 million, is to go to students.

Working with campus administration, the CSUDH Financial Aid Office carefully reviewed all eligible students in accordance with the guidelines established by the CARES Act. A tiered funding model was created that attends to our most needy students while ensuring some level of relief for everyone. The university also has set aside $232,000, the remaining HEERF balance, to provide supplemental grants to students through an application process.

Recognizing that the CARES Act excludes undocumented and international students from eligibility, CSUDH has identified separate, non-federal dollars to support those students during this time.

Disbursement of HEERF to eligible students will begin the week of May 11, and may take up to two weeks. Students can check their status by logging into their Student Center portal.

For more information about the CARES Act emergency relief fund for students, including how much CSUDH students can expect to receive, please review the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

Our hope is that these emergency funds will help our Toro students continue their progress toward earning degrees.

Read the full CSUDH Cares Act Report here [PDF].

See the HEERF Institutional Funding Report here.


Frequently Asked Questions for CARES Act

  • What is the CARES Act?

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal economic relief package signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump on March 27 to provide economic assistance throughout the country during the coronavirus pandemic. The law appropriates about $14 billion for higher education (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), with about $12.5 billion to be split between emergency grants to students and money for schools' needs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • What are the HEERF emergency grants?

    The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.

    The HEERF emergency grants are funds that will be disbursed to students as relief for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This includes expenses like course materials, technology, housing, food, health care, and childcare.

  • Do I need to apply to receive an emergency grant?

    No, students do not need to apply for an emergency grant. Funds will be disbursed automatically for students who qualify, through direct deposit or by mail. If you choose to receive a paper check, you must ensure that the mailing address on your student account is accurate and complete.

    A note about direct deposit:

    Effective immediately, in an effort to increase security of student accounts, the University has disabled the ability to enroll or make changes to direct deposit bank accounts.
    Please be advised that the Student Financial Services department does not have access to review direct deposit bank information, and will not be able to verify related information. If you are unsure about the validity of the bank account used for direct deposit purposes, it is recommended that you disable this feature online by selecting the "Withdraw from Direct Deposit" feature in this portal. Any refunds due to students will be mailed by check if the direct deposit feature is disabled.

    Student Financial Services questions other than verifying bank account information may be directed to sfs@csudh.edu.

    If you are a recipient of phishing information, please contact Information Technology at ISO@csudh.edu.

  • Who qualifies for a grant?

    Any student who qualifies as Title IV eligible, is currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program for spring 2020, and was not enrolled in a completely online program as of March 13 will receive a HEERF Emergency Grant.

    Undergraduate and postgraduate students, including doctorate and masters'students, are eligible.

    The U.S. Department of Education excludes undocumented and international students from eligibility. Some undocumented and international students will receive grants from a different CSUDH funds.

  • Who qualifies as Title IV eligible?

    Any student who is eligible to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and is eligible for federal financial aid is Title IV eligible. Federal financial aid funds including the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Direct Loans fall under Title IV according to the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Do I need to submit the FAFSA to receive a grant?

    Yes, to be eligible to receive a CARES Emergency Grant, you will need to submit the 2019-2020 FAFSA to demonstrate you are eligible for Title IV federal student aid. The 2019-2020 FAFSA filing deadline is June 30, 2020 (midnight Central Time).

  • When will grants be disbursed?

    Disbursements are expected to begin the week of May 11 and will continue throughout the week. Student may check their status by logging into the Student Portal. Disbursement may take at least 2 weeks.

  • How much will I receive?

    Students determined to be of the highest financial need through FAFSA will receive the highest grant amount.

    Students with the highest financial need who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant will receive $965.00 for full-time enrollment (12 units or more), and $482.00 for less than full-time enrollment. There are 8,573 students determined to be Federal Pell Eligible according to the Financial Aid Office.

    Students who are eligible for financial aid but are not eligible for the Pell Grant will receive $400.00 for full-time enrollment and $200.00 for less than full-time enrollment. This represents 3,489 students.

    Students who did not file a FAFSA will receive $250.00 for full-time enrollment and $125.00 for less than full-time enrollment. There are 1,823 students who fall into this category.

  • How did CSUDH determine my eligibility?

    Working with campus administration, the CSUDH Financial Aid Office carefully reviewed all eligible students in accordance with the guidelines as established by the CARES Act. A tiered funding model was created that attends to our most needy students while ensuring some level of relief for everyone. The funding model was reviewed and approved by the appropriate administrators to ensure that the calculations were as accurate as possible.

  • Where does the money come from?

    CSUDH received over $18.4 million in emergency stimulus funds through the HEERF, which is part of the CARES Act. Schools are required to award at least half of their total allocation to students. CSUDH has over $9.2 million to disburse to students in emergency financial aid grants.

  • Can the school use the money to pay for outstanding student fees?

    No, the CARES Act does not allow CSUDH to use the funds for emergency financial aid grants to pay off a student's outstanding balance or fees. The money may not be used for athletics, religious purposes, or scholarships, either.

  • Is the HEERF emergency grant the same as the CSUDH Emergency Grant for students?

    No, the emergency financial aid grants from the CARES Act are not the same as the Emergency Grant funds offered by CSUDH. The Emergency Grant is a separate grant administered by the Division of Student Affairs that assists students experiencing a one-term financial crisis due to unexpected expenses.

    Funding for this grant program is made possible by the generous donations from CSUDH faculty, staff, alumni, students, and community members to assist students with unexpected expenses that could lead to withdrawal from the semester. The minimum grant is $250 and can be approved up to $1,000. Students may be awarded no more than one grant per academic year.

    To be considered for the Emergency Grant, complete an application and submit supporting documentation by email to iheart@csudh.edu.

  • What if I am in a crisis and need more aid?

    CSUDH has set aside $232,000.00 from the HEERF funds to assist as supplemental grants for students in crisis. In this case, students will be required to apply for these supplemental funds. Students must be eligible to receive federal financial aid, and be currently enrolled for spring 2020.

    Applications will be begin to be reviewed the week of May 18. More information on how to apply for the supplemental funds will be available soon and added to these FAQs.

  • What if I don't qualify for an emergency financial aid grant?

    CSUDH has set up a different fund (non-federal or CARES Act) for students who don't qualify for federal financial aid or the emergency financial aid grants. The fund will include those who file for the California Dream Act, international students, and students who were enrolled in completely online programs prior to March 13.

    CSUDH Dreamers with the highest financial need will receive $900 for full-time enrollment and $450 for less than full-time enrollment. There were 526 students identified in this category. 161 international students will receive an emergency grant amount of $248.

  • Who can I contact on the campus if I have a question regarding the emergency financial aid grant?

    For assistance, please contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@csudh.edu or 310-243-3691. Please provide your first and last name, CSUDH ID number, phone number, and your questions in your email.

  • Can the school use the money to pay for outstanding student fees?

    No, the CARES Act does not allow CSUDH to use the funds for emergency financial aid grants to pay off a student's outstanding balance or fees. The money may not be used for athletics, religious purposes, or scholarships, either.

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