category: Advisory

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Student Assistance

On April 9th, the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) informed Gardner-Webb University that it would be receiving $1,825,407 in total Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act assistance. Approximately half of those funds ($912,704) were designated by the DOE to be disbursed directly to students who have been impacted by campus changes due to COVID-19.

According to the DOE, disbursements are for “the direct payment of grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care.” Consistent with the DOE guidelines, the payments will go first to displaced residential students with or without meal plans and to commuter students with meal plans.

As of May 1st, Gardner-Webb had received $912,704 under the CARES Act student portion. As of May 4th, 2020, the first distribution date, $855,600 was distributed to eligible students.  As of May 19th, 2020 the remaining $57,104 had been distributed. All $912,704 has been distributed to 753 eligible students as of May 20th, 2020.

As of May 20th, 2020, Gardner-Webb University has certified that it signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form required by the DOE, and that the institution has used the CARES Act funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

At Gardner-Webb University, 2,523 students for spring 2020 were deemed eligible by the Department of Education guidelines to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Of those, 1,007 students met eligibility requirements for the funds and were therefore eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants.

GWU distributed these funds to a class of students who it determined had incurred additional monetary expenses due to campus disruption caused by the corona virus and were deemed eligible by DOE guidelines. This class consisted of those students who did not return to the residence halls and/or had lost access to meals on campus during the time period commencing at the close of Spring Break 2020, March 17th through the end of the Spring 2020 semester, May 8th. These students needed to secure alternate housing and/or meals, for which they incurred additional expenses.

Finally, although the great majority of on-campus students did not return to the residence halls after Spring Break, some exceptions were made by student requests due to extenuating circumstances. All student requests to remain on campus were granted. The students allowed to remain in campus housing after Spring Break and have access to meals on campus did not receive CARES funds

As required by the DOE, the University provided the funds directly to qualified students. The University did not provide any directives to the recipients concerning how they should spend their awards. The University published a dedicated Coronavirus website on February 28th to provide regular, public information regarding the response and practices surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic as well as links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other heath websites as appropriate. 

The website also provides several FAQ sections.

The University’s combined efforts to offer economic relief to students as of May 20th include Emergency Relief Grants from CARES in the amount of $912,704, Flex account refunds totaling $122,626 and GWU Emergency Funds raised in the past month of $25,143; a total of $1,060,473.79.

On May 28, 2020, the University made the decision to utilize the institutional portion of the CARES Act funding to offer additional assistance to our students who met DOE requirements.  The second CARES Act distribution that was classified as institutional funds was used to reimburse the institution for student account credits made to qualifying residential students or commuter students with meal plans (163 students and $306,422); fund additional cash grants to those students who qualified for and received emergency relief grants from the University’s first CARES Act distribution (751 students and $583,091); and fund cash grants to our eligible commuter students who completed an application and submitted documentation related to expenses incurred due to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care (20 students and $23,190).

 With these final distributions, as of June 19, 2020 Gardner-Webb’s total allocation $1,825,407 of CARES Act funding has been distributed directly to our students through cash grants or has benefited our students through student account credits reimbursed to the institution by these funds. 

Previous Post

Coronavirus Information: Academics, Athletics, Student Life, Event Updates

Next Post

Coronavirus Information: North Carolina’s Most recent Executive Order and Fall 2020 Ppdates

Related Posts

  • Post

    Community Update: Current Data, Commencement & Summer School

    Gardner-Webb community,  For the past 14 months, we have communicated regularly with you to provide vital information related to the COVID pandemic and its impact on our campus.  In our Read More »

  • Post

    Community Update: Only three weeks from the end of the semester

    The number of cases of COVID-19 on campus this week has dropped! Thanks to the Runnin’ Bulldog family for doing their part. We are only three weeks from the end Read More »

  • Post

    Community Update: Easter Break, class schedules, vaccines and facility updates

    As we prepare to celebrate Easter and share some time with family, friends and community, we encourage you to engage in all the healthy habits we have developed over the Read More »