CARES Act provides relief for many students

The United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act back in March, and many students received aid in late April from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which the act established. In all, the University of Washington was given $39.7 million in total allocations, of which at least $19.8 million was to be disbursed to students between all three UW campuses.

Students who had filed their FAFSAs and were considered to have needed the most support from financial aid were awarded money under the UW CARES Act Relief grant for either $1,200, or $1,700 for those with dependents. Additionally, undocumented students who were not eligible for aid from the federal government were still eligible for aid from a seperate grant, funded separately from non-federal sources. Eligibility for this grant was based on WASFA, and students received the same amount of money that someone under the UW CARES Act Relief grant would have awarded.

“Because we know the economic crisis has affected so many families’ livelihoods in ways not reflected on financial aid applications filled out before the pandemic, additional funding is available through our campuses’ Emergency Aid programs, which can also support students as needs emerge through the remainder of the spring and into summer quarter,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce said in an email to all campuses on April 24.”

For the UW Tacoma campus, ASUWT President Vincent Da has commented that he spoke with Chancellor Mark Pagano about aid for those undocumented and international students who might not have been able to recieve any aid so far.

“When I met with the chancellor this week … he said that we can direct them to the emergency aid fund to help cover their costs if they don’t get the relief grant,” Da said.

For those students that have not received any aid, especially international students, there is the regular emergency aid program. The online form allows students to submit an application detailing why they are in need of additional funding. The funding requests can cover anything from emergency medical expenses, to housing and living expenses and to loss of income, as well as many other hardships or obstacles which a student might face. Due to COVID-19, responses for the application have been pushed back to at most ten business days from submission of the application.