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Note: CARES funding for upcoming semesters will be announced to the campus community via email. Applications for the Fall 2021 semester have now closed.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grant provided to universities by the federal government is now available to University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students who have short-term financial need due to the disruption of campus operations caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

UH Mānoa students can apply for a CARES grant by completing the UH Mānoa CARES Program Application.

The CARES Act funding and Urgent Student Relief Fund have a range of $350–$1,000. You do not have to indicate which fund you are applying for. If your request for assistance is approved, the committee will decide which grant you will receive (USRF or CARES).

Questions can be sent to:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to file a Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA) in order to receive a CARES grant?

No, you do not have to file a FAFSA to be eligible for a CARES grant, but you must be eligible to receive federal financial aid to receive a CARES grant. We urge all continuing students to complete a FAFSA as you may be eligible for additional assistance. Priority for CARES Act grants will go to students who are fully utilizing their Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loan offers.

How do I determine if I am eligible for federal financial aid?

We can determine this if you have a current FAFSA on file with UH Mānoa. If you do not, there is a self-certification process you must complete when you apply using the Urgent Student Relief Fund application (a link will be provided if the process restarts for the Spring 2021 semester).

Are the Urgent Student Relief Fund (USRF) and CARES the same grant?

While both are available to you as a result of expenses from the COVID-19 pandemic, the grants are different. The USRF grant is provided by generous private, typically individual, donors while the CARES grant is funded by the federal government.

Can I use the same application to apply for USRF and CARES grants?

Yes, you can use the same application. The committee for these emergency grants will determine which fund to use if your request is approved.

Do I have to certify that I am eligible for federal financial aid if I only want USRF grants?

No you do not but if you have not filed a FAFSA with UH Mānoa, you should complete the certification portion of the application so the committee can determine which fund to use. If you do not complete it, you may be limited to smaller grant amounts with USRF.

What kind of expenses are eligible for a CARES grant?

This grant may be used for students in need to help cover expenses for your Cost of Attendance, which include: Tuition, Room and Board, Course Materials, and Student Fees.
Students must self-certify under penalty of perjury that they have at least $1,000 in such expenses for Spring 2021 to be eligible for this funding.

Will a CARES grant reduce my financial aid?

No, this fund does not affect your financial aid.

What are the grant amounts for CARES?

Grants are either $350 (USRF) or $1,000 (CARES Act) for Spring 2021.

I was enrolled in all online courses before the university moved all course instruction online due to COVID-19, am I eligible for a CARES grant?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, you are not eligible if you have been enrolled in all-online courses for the spring 2020 semester before COVID-19 forced all classes online.

I am an international student, am I eligible for a COVID-19 grant?

International students and those ineligible for federal financial aid are still eligible for the Urgent Student Relief Fund and are encouraged to submit an application.

What is an eligible non-citizen?

Generally, these are permanent residents. However, there are other categories. You can find more information here:

I am a graduate/professional school student, am I eligible for CARES?

Yes, you are.

I am a DACA student, am I eligible for a CARES grant?

DACA students are ineligible for CARES Act grants per the US Department of Education, but are still eligible for Urgent Student Relief Funds.

I am taking unclassified courses, am I eligible for CARES?

No, according to the U.S. Department of Education, you are not eligible.

The Fall 2021 Urgent Student Relief FAQs have additional information.

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