News at Mason
May 12: Distribution of CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
May 12, 2020
We hope you are doing well. We write to provide information on the funding that has been allocated to George Mason University from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides money to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mason’s total allocation is $10.4 million to support students with significant financial needs. These funds will be dispersed in two ways:
- COVID-19 CARES Act awards will be allocated proactively to students with the highest urgency as determined by Financial Aid
- Supplemental funding will be allocated to students who apply through the COVID-19 Student Emergency Assistance Funding process
Per federal guidelines, students are only eligible to receive CARES Act funding through option one OR option two as outlined above.
The eligibility guidelines for the COVID-19 CARES Act awards proactively allocated by Financial Aid are as follows:
- Students must be Title IV eligible;
- Students must not have been enrolled in a fully online program prior to the pandemic;
- Students must be currently enrolled as a graduate or undergraduate in good Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);
- Graduate students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,576 or less;
- Undergraduate students must have an EFC of $9,999 or less, with unmet financial need of $1,000 or more;
- Students must have filed a valid/complete FAFSA;
- Students must have accepted all the financial aid offered to them.
Students who were given a proactive award from Financial Aid were notified on May 8, 2020. If you would like to check whether or not your received one of these awards, please check PatriotWeb. Funding recipients are required to acknowledge the financial impact due to COVID-19 before Mason can release any funds. The link to this acknowledgement/certification form was sent in an email from the Financial Aid Office. You can also access the link by logging in to your PatriotWeb portal. We recommend all students make sure their mailing address is current in PatriotWeb and/or enroll in Direct Deposit to assist us in processing these, or future, funds.
If you do not qualify for a COVID-19 CARES Act Award or did not receive an award from the Financial Aid Office but you still require financial support due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for emergency funding by visiting the COVID-19 Student Emergency Assistance Funding information page and application. CARES ACT funding is just one of the funding sources used to make emergency awards.
There will be additional opportunities to apply for emergency funding for summer and fall semesters. Information is forthcoming.
We will distribute emergency funding as quickly as possible and we appreciate your willingness to comply with the guidelines noted above. Further clarification is available by reading CARES funding FAQs.
If you have questions about an award that has been posted on your financial aid account, contact the Financial Aid Office. We will respond as soon as possible.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 emergency assistance funding process, contact University Life.
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Vice President for University Life