Financial Aid

CARES Act Funding

Cleveland State University has begun awarding the student portion of CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $6.1 million dollars. These awards are to help with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus; such as, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, transportation, childcare and other related expenses.  

CARES Act Emergency Funding for Students 

The Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act* was approved by Congress and includes support for higher education, including emergency grants for students facing expenses due to COVID-19. CSU has received approximately $12.2 million dollars of which $6.1 million is designated for emergency grants to our students. The remaining funds are designated for use by the institution to cover unexpected expenses due to COVID-19.  

The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on distribution of these emergency grants to students, requiring that all recipients meet Title IV eligibility requirements. The grants are 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 childcare). The grants may not fully cover or fully meet the expenses a student has incurred due to the disruption. 

The Process: The University developed an application with checkboxes so students can easily indicate the area(s) of their need. The university selected this approach to provide awards to as many eligible students as possible, while being able to provide greater award amounts to those who indicated greater need.  


  • Degree seeking in undergraduate, graduate, law careers 
  • Completed the CARES funding application 
  • Enrolled degree seeking for spring 2020 term as of May 8, 2020. 
  • Not enrolled exclusively in online courses beginning spring semester 2020 
  • Meet Title IV Federal Financial Aid eligibility requirements 
  • Maintaining the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress. 

Awarding Model: CSU assigned standard grant amounts by category, based on monthly average cost in Northeast Ohio or nationally, in the following categories: food, housing, transportation, course material, technology, health care, child care, and other. Students were awarded based on the categories they indicated on their application.  

The Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success manages the awarding. The grants are disbursed directly to students via their student account.  The grants are passed through campusnet student account and are not be applied to or used to offset any charge, debt, tuition, fees, or other balance in a student account, nor will it be encumbered in any manner by CSU.  

Student grant awards range from $200 minimum to $2500 maximum.  The grant appears in the students account under the following name: Federal CARES Act Award. 

For students enrolled in direct deposit, they will have access to the funds in approximately three business days from the date of disbursement. For those not enrolled in direct deposit, the Office of Treasury Services issues a paper check mailed weekly.  

Students received the following instructions upon receipt of their grant application: Your eligibility for a Lift Up Vikes! Emergency Grant will be reviewed, and we will notify you of your eligibility. Lift Up Vikes! Emergency Grants may, in part, be funded with resources made available via the Department of Education as part of Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act to cover emergency financial needs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and any grants awarded should be used for those purposes. 

Phase 1.  

4/27/20 Application created, available for students to complete.  

4/27/20 Grant Application is available.  

4/30/20 Grant awards are beginning to be issued. 

5/22/20 Enrollment Services Student Success has evaluated more than 4,200 student CARES Grant applications (across all careers) who meet the criteria, these student have received $3.8 million of the 6.1. Million thus far. 

7/5/20- Enrollment Services Student Success has evaluated 5,316 student CARES Grant applications, (across all careers) those who meet the criteria,  have received $4,472,196 of the 6.1 Million thus far.

Phase 2 

Using the application and criteria stated above, once all spring applicants are evaluated/awarded, we will begin assisting our summer-enrolled students using the same eligibility process.   

Phase 3

Using the application and criteria stated above, we will begin assisting our fall-enrolled students using the same eligibility process.   

Key Facts Regarding Federal CARES Act Grants 

The University acknowledges that it has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education and has used 100 percent of the funds received to date under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. 

  • Total CARES Act funds received: $6,113,383 
  • Total federal CARES Act funds awarded:
DateAwardedTotal Number of Students
  • Number of students eligible to participate in Title IV: 9,171 
  • Number of CSU students who have completed the CARES application: 5,650
  • Number of  CSU students who received federal CARES Act grants thus far 4,776

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CARES Act?  

Who is Eligible for funding though the CARES Act? 

    How is the CARES Act grant amount determined?  


    What expenses qualify under the CARES Act? 


        What academic careers are eligible to receive the CARES Act grant? 

        How will I receive the grant? 

        I am a graduate or law student. Can I receive the CARES Act grant? 

        I am not Title IV eligible, is there additional help you can provide?  

        Will the CARES Act grant affect my eligibility for Financial Aid in the Fall 2020 semester? 

        Is the CARES grant taxable? 

        U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Frequently Asked Questions:  

        IRS FAQ information: 

        NASFAA COVID-19 Reference Page:  

        * This serves as acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends 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. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, is 5501