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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 Act grant by completing the Urgent Student Relief Fund (USRF) application. This is the same application for the UH Foundation based USRF Grants.

The CARES Act grants have a range of $500–$2,500. 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).

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.

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.

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?

Medical, unanticipated travel expenses, food, housing, childcare costs, additional technology needs, course materials, utilities etc.

Will a CARES grant reduce my financial aid?

No, this fund does not affect your financial aid.

What are the grant amounts for CARES?

At UH Mānoa the grants range from $500 to $2,500. Grants of more than $2,500 will be considered on an exception basis only.

Is there a separate application for an exception for an amount higher than $2,500?

No, there is not. The committee will make that decision based on your request.

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?

According to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education, you are not eligible unless you are an eligible non-citizen.

What is an eligible non-citizen?

Generally, these are permanent residents. However, there are other categories. You can find more information here: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/requirements/non-us-citizens.

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?

No, according to the guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education.

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

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

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