The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is an economic stimulus package that was signed into law by the United States Congress on March 27, 2020 to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. While the CARES Act is a widely impacting package of $2 trillion, a portion of the funds (roughly $14 billion) were allocated toward higher education in the form of emergency student grants to students and financial support for schools during this pandemic. Of the higher education allocation, funds are given to schools for the following purposes:
- Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF)
- Emergency Financial Aid Grant for Students
- Institutional financial support to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus” disruption.
- Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI)
- Grants to institutions particularly impacted by coronavirus, to be administered through FIPSE.
* Priority of these grants goes to small institutions who received less than $500,000 under the HEERF formula and MSI grants and still have significant unmet need.
Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:
An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) signed the Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CARES Act on April 12, 2020, and returned the signed Certification and Agreement with the submitted application for funding. UHM intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
UHM has received $5,504,934 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to UHM’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).
As of May 19, 2020, UHM has distributed $885,747 awards of Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
Estimated 14,732 classified, U.S. citizens for spring 2020 are eligible. Not all of the 14,732 are FAFSA filers. UH Mānoa has an application process for all students applying for CARES Act funding, and FAFSA non-filers must certify that are eligible for Title IV funding as part of that process.
Approximately 67% of students at UH Mānoa are FAFSA filers.
The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
As of May 19, 2020, approximately 711 students received a CARES Act grant.
The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa determined that all students who are eligible for Title IV aid, FAFSA and non-FAFSA filers were eligible to receive a CARES grant. This included undergraduate and graduate students but not students enrolled in distance education programs prior to the COVID-19 shift to online instruction.
Students had to submit an online application and indicate if they filed or did not file a FASA for 2019-2020.
FAFSA filers were presumed automatically eligible if they had been awarded Title IV funds.
Non-filers had to certify eligibility by penalty of perjury, that they were eligible for aid based on 10 criteria.
All students had to attest to and sign a statement of educational purpose.
Students could receive grants of $500 – $2500. Exceptions above $2500 were made on a case by case basis via a committee process. No award would exceed the maximum Pell amount for 2019-2020.
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
Students were notified of the availability of CARES Act student funds via email and texts and received a link and were directed to apply online.
When students log onto the application, using UH Mānoa credentials, they will see a landing page with information, eligibility, certification process, criteria, timeline and FAQs.