CARES Act Student Emergency Grants – May 15, 2020

Updated CARES Act Information

Sent on behalf of Elizabeth Stevens, Associate Vice President for Enrollment & Director of Financial Aid


Dear St. Catherine University Community,

As we near the end of the academic year, we know many of you are starting to think about what comes next, including your financial future. To aid in your planning, the following is an update to our April 17 communication about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act and the $2.6 million of funding allocated to St. Catherine University as part of this act to help cover expenses related to COVID-19. 

Student Emergency Grants

The CARES Act student emergency funds for St. Kate’s provides $1,322,523 to be awarded directly to students as grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. This funding is restricted to students who meet the qualifications outlined by the federal government as part of the CARES Act which states only students who are eligible for federal Title IV financial aid may receive emergency grant funding. Unfortunately, this means not all students are eligible or will receive student emergency grants, including international and undocumented students as well as students who were already enrolled in fully-online programs. [Note: All St. Kate’s students are eligible to request emergency grants through the University's Access and Success program. See details below.]
 
We recognize this funding does not go far when divided by the 2500+ eligible St. Catherine University students and that there is not enough to sufficiently support all students with need. To determine how best to distribute CARES Act student emergency grants to eligible students, we convened a work group to evaluate options and engaged with students in the College for Women, College for Adults, and Graduate College to gather student input. Students from all three colleges expressed a strong desire to award grants to students with financial need rather than distributing smaller grants to all eligible students.
 
Based on this research and input, we will be distributing grants to three groups of eligible students. Students will receive these funds through eRefunds if they have an account set up with the University to do so. If not, checks will be mailed to students to the address currently on file. [Note: Students can set up a direct deposit account by logging in to KatePay.]

  • Group 1: Federal Pell Grant Recipients: The University will begin to distribute $750 grants to almost 900 Federal Pell Grant recipients who were enrolled in eligible programs during the spring semester at the time the CARES Act was enacted. These grants will be distributed by May 31. 
  • Group 2: Grants for Students with Disrupted Clinical and Fieldwork: Students with clinical and fieldwork disruptions are the second group of students who will receive emergency grants. Academic departments with students impacted by this spring term disruption are working to identify those students and criteria to receive these grant funds. These grants will be distributed by June 15. 

  • Group 3: Emergency Grants for Eligible Students: The remaining funds will be allocated on an individual basis to eligible students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Students can submit a request for consideration by completing the online request form. Fund requests will be accepted through June 15; these grants will be distributed by July 15. 


Access and Success Emergency Grants

In addition to the student-directed funding from the CARES Act, St. Kate’s is also supporting students through our Emergency Grants and Emergency Loans in the Student Affairs division. If you are not eligible for CARES Act funding (as described above), please contact our Access & Success office at accessandsuccess@stkate.edu, and our staff will work with you to see what other sources of financial support may be available in these challenging times.

CARES Act University Funding

In accordance with the CARES Act, the University has invested the remaining federal funds received into costs and resources to support students, faculty, and operations related to COVID-19. This includes laptops and other technology for students, faculty, and staff to be able to connect remotely, purchasing access to tools and software to support coursework, and moving vital supports like the Counseling Center into technology-delivered modes.

Next Steps

We are grateful for the students, faculty, and staff who have contributed to this work to make it as equitable as possible and keeping love of the dear neighbor at the forefront of our decision-making. We continue to review guidance as it is issued from the Department of Education regarding these funds, and we want to thank you for your patience as we determine what this means for St. Kate’s and our students. We know these grants are important to our students, and our goal is to get student emergency grants to students as quickly as possible. 

For more information, please see our CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions, which will be updated as more information becomes available.

Best regards, 

Elizabeth Stevens
Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Director of Financial Aid

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