CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

At Johnson & Wales University (JWU), we recognize that many of our students are navigating challenging circumstances as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

JWU will be distributing grants via the CARES Act. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides funding to institutions for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care) (“Eligible Expenses”). This funding is separate from financial aid students may receive from JWU.

FAQs

What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is intended to provide economic relief from COVID-19. Among other things, the CARES Act establishes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) for institutions to use to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care) (“Student Grant” or “Student Grants”).

Who is eligible for CARES Act Student Grants from JWU?
In order to be considered to receive a Student Grant, a student must:

  • Be eligible to receive federal financial aid under Title IV;
  • Have been an active student enrolled at JWU as of March 13, 2020;
  • Have not been enrolled exclusively online as of March 13, 2020; and
  • Have a completed and accurate Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with JWU.

To receive a Student Grant, eligible students must complete an accurate and timely Student Certification (which contains additional requirements similar to those described here). Among other things, students must attest that they are active students at the time of any distribution of Student Grants.

JWU intends to distribute Student Grants based on a formula designed to identify students with the greatest financial need, taking into account Pell status, Expected Family Contribution (“EFC”), and Cost of Attendance (“COA”).

What is an “active” student?
An “active student” is one who was enrolled at JWU as of March 13, 2020, and who, at the time of the fund distribution, either (1) has not withdrawn from the university and is enrolled for classes at the university or (2) withdrew from the university after March 13, 2020, but is taking classes at the university as of the time of the fund distribution.

Why wasn’t I eligible for a CARES Act Student Grant from JWU?
If you did not receive a Student Grant, it is because you did not meet one of the criteria noted above or in the Student Certification, or the university prioritized other students that the university determined may have greater need based on their Pell status, EFC, and COA.

How do I apply for my CARES Act grant?
Eligible students will receive or have received an email at their JWU email address informing them of their eligibility. Each student will need to complete and submit a Student Certification form certifying his or her eligibility to receive a Student Grant and that he or she incurred eligible expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Student Certification forms may only be submitted once, and must be accurate and complete. The University will not process untimely or incomplete forms. If you have any questions, you must speak to your Financial Planner BEFORE submitting your Student Certification. To submit your Student Certification:

  1. Log into jwuLink
  2. Go to the Academics page
  3. Click the “CARES Act Student Grants” alert (under Your Notices)
  4. A Student Certification will open
  5. Complete it fully and accurately and then submit it

What is the deadline to submit my Student Certification for the CARES Act grant?
Students must submit their Student Certification no later than July 5, 2020, to receive a Student Grant.

What is an “eligible expense” related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus?
Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, transportation, technology, health care, and childcare incurred in relation to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. This is not a JWU definition but the definition under federal law.

After submitting my Student Certification, when and how will I receive my CARES Act grant?
Student Grants will be distributed on or shortly after July 6, 2020, through students’ BankMobile accounts.

Instructions for setting up a BankMobile account are included in the email alerting students to their eligibility for a Student Grant and on jwuLink.

Do I need to repay my CARES Act grant?
Eligible students will NOT have to repay their Student Grant (absent a material misrepresentation or omission by the student in the Student Certification), and it will not be counted as income for the calculation of Expected Family Contribution or estimated financial assistance.

Is my CARES Act grant taxable?
No. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the Student Grants are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This means that any amount received is not included in your gross income. Relatedly, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant.

I got this money as a refund. Does this mean my JWU account balance has been paid off?
No. The funds are emergency financial aid grants to students and must be directly distributed to students. JWU cannot use these funds to satisfy any financial obligations students still owe to JWU. Therefore, receipt of a Student Grant does not indicate that a student has satisfied all financial obligations to JWU. Students should check their account balance to see if they still owe any funds to JWU.

If I have additional questions, whom should I contact?
Please reach out to your Financial Planner with any additional questions.

CARES Act 30-Day Fund Report

The CARES Act requires all institutions applying for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to provide access to the following information. The information posted below complies with reporting requirements associated with receipt of these funds, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

  • JWU signed and returned to ED the CARES Act Certification and Agreement on April 27, 2020. JWU intends to use no less than 50% of the total funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.
  • JWU has received or will receive $7,091,340 from ED pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  • As of June 3, 2020, JWU has not yet distributed funds to students but plans to do so within a little more than one month, subject to JWU verifying student eligibility within that time period.
  • The estimated total number of students enrolled at the institution as of March 13, 2020, who were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) is 6,244. This is based on actual FAFSA filings.
  • As noted above, as of June 3, 2020, JWU has not yet distributed funds to any students but plans to do so within a little more than one month, subject to JWU verifying student eligibility within that time period.
  • JWU’s method to determine which students will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much they will receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act will be to prioritize funding for the neediest students. JWU identified all students — other than students who were exclusively online students as of March 13, 2020 — who completed a verified Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and who continued to be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the HEA. Then, JWU determined the amount of student awards based on Pell eligibility, Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and Cost of Attendance (COA) and limited potential awards to students with EFCs of $50,000 or less. Each potentially eligible student will be required to certify, as a condition of receiving emergency financial aid grants, that the student incurred Eligible Expenses (among other things, to establish eligibility). If funds remain after this initial distribution, JWU will identify an appropriate method to distribute such remaining funds to the neediest students.
  • As of the date of this posting the university has made available an FAQ to students, available on the same web page as this report. On or around June 3, 2020, the university will email all potentially eligible students a Student Certification Form providing them relevant information, including the funds to which they are potentially entitled and the means by which to claim such funds. (You can preview a demonstration-only version of the form.)