CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Application

The CARES Act funding covers expenses related to the disruption of normal institution operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must submit a UWF CARES Act Emergency Aid Application in the UWF Scholarship Portal. Applications will be processed by the UWF Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be enrolled in the semester for which the student is requesting aid. 
  • Must be a degree-seeking student–Undergraduate, Graduate, Specialist, or Doctoral.
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid; see Title IV Eligibility Criteria (Basic Eligibility Criteria for Federal Student Aid).
  • Enrollment was impacted by COVID-19 and have expenses incurred for housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare, or childcare.
  • Must have submitted 2019-2020 FAFSA if applying for Spring 2020 or Summer 2020; must have submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA if applying for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.
  • Must not be enrolled in a fully online program.

Application Process:

  • File an electronic application in the UWF Scholarship Portal via MyUWF
    • If you have not previously submitted a scholarship application, you must first submit the general application. 
    • Once you do so, if you meet the qualifications, you will be able to view it under "Other Recommended Opportunities" or by searching CARES Act Student Emergency Grant.
  • Must upload documentation with the application (e.g., unemployment documentation, letter/documentation from the employer, the lease if for rent, an invoice for healthcare or childcare, etc.).
  • The application period is open through May 20, 2020. The application will reopen if funds remain.
  • You will be notified via your UWF e-mail of approval or denial and you should receive notification within 10 business days of submitting your application. 

Award Amounts and Disbursement:

  • It is a one-time award.
  • Maximum award is $1,250 per student; see the chart for award maximums in specific categories.
Award Amounts
NeedDependent Student / Independent Student (1)Independent Student (2+)
Housing up to $700 up to $900
Food up to $200 up to $300
Tech / Materials up to $350 up to $350
Child Care* $0 up to $500
Health Care up to $200 up to $200

*Student must have dependent child on FAFSA or provide documentation of dependents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive the CARES Act Student Emergency Grant?
  • Must be enrolled in the semester for which the student is requesting aid. 
  • Must be a degree-seeking student–Undergraduate, Graduate, Specialist, or Doctoral.
  • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid; see Title IV Eligibility Criteria (Basic Eligibility Criteria for Federal Student Aid).
  • Enrollment was impacted by COVID-19 and have expenses incurred for housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare, or childcare.
  • Must have submitted 2019-2020 FAFSA if applying for Spring 2020 or Summer 2020; must have submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA if applying for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.
  • Must not be enrolled in a fully online program.
How do I apply for the CARES Act Student Emergency Grant?

If you have an expense incurred related to COVID-19, please complete the CARES Act Student Emergency Grant application in the UWF Scholarship Portal, found in MyUWF. If you have not previously submitted a scholarship application, you must first submit the general application. Once you do so, if you meet the qualifications, you will be able to view it under "Other Recommended Opportunities" or by searching CARES Act Student Emergency Grant. Select applicable circumstance; you must upload documentation with your application to verify COVID-19 related impact; see application for details on documentation.

I have not applied for FAFSA. Is it too late?

It is not too late, you can complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA (needed for spring and/or summer requests) through June 30, 2020.

Can I apply for summer and fall even though those terms have not started yet?

You can currently apply for summer. Fall application process is not yet open.

How much funding can I receive?

Grant amounts vary by students and are based on each student’s circumstances and documentation. The grant is a one-time award, meaning you may only apply once. Ensure you have all documentation available prior to submission.

How will I know if my application is approved?

You will be notified via your UWF email of approval or denial and you should receive notification within 10 business days of submitting your application.

How and when will I receive my funding?

Your refund will be sent to BankMobile, via your previously selected refund preference, within 7 business days of your application being approved.

What if I don’t have a BankMobile refund process or don’t know my refund preference?

For information about refund preferences and Bank Mobile available, visit UWF's BankMobile webpage.

How can I use the money?

Grants are refunded to you to use for expenses incurred due to COVID-19.

If I have a balance with UWF, will my grant be applied towards my balance?

No, your grant will be refunded to you, even if you have a balance. Please check your CashNet for up to date balance information. If you would like to use your refund to pay your balance, you may do so via any of the UWF Accepted Payment Methods.

What if I need more than what is awarded to me?

We understand students have significant needs during this time. The CARES Act Student Emergency Grant is meant to supplement other funding sources. If you are having financial difficulties, please reach out to your Financial Aid Counselor to discuss other available options.

What does it mean to be "eligible to receive Title IV aid?"
  • demonstrate financial need
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  • have a valid Social Security number 
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form stating that
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan
    • you do not owe money on a federal student grant
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
Are international students eligible to receive CARES Act Student Emergency Grant?

Because international students are typically not eligible to receive Title IV aid, most international students will not be eligible for CARES Act Student Emergency Grant. If you are having financial difficulties, please reach out to International Programs at international@uwf.edu or Case Management at casemanagement@uwf.edu to discuss other available options.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact the UWF Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at finaid@uwf.edu or 850.474.2400.

How did the University develop the eligibility criteria?


Department of Education CARES Report

While ED develops a process for institutions to directly provide the required reporting data, it has in the meantime called for institutions to make easily accessible to the public — via the institution's website — the following items:

  • An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned the certification and agreement form and that the institution has used, or intends to use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

    UWF acknowledges that we signed and returned our certification on April 10, 2020, and we will award at least 50% of our CARES funding in the form of emergency financial aid grants directly to students. 

  • The total amount of funds that the institution will receive, or has received under the HEERF student portion.

    UWF received $3,400,694 for emergency aid grants for students. 

  • Of those funds, the total amount that has been distributed to students as of the date of reporting (i.e. the first 30-day deadline, and then every 45 days thereafter).

    As of May 12, 2020, $136,715 has been distributed to students. 
    As of May 22, 2020, $815,545 has been distributed to students.
    As of May 29, 2020, $1,284,245 has been distributed to students.
  • 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 therefore
    eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant.

    UWF has about 6,000 students eligible to receive Title IV aid. 

  • The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant.

    As of May 12, 2020, 147 students have been awarded a CARES emergency financial aid grant. 
    As of May 22, 2020, 710 students have been awarded a CARES emergency financial aid grant.
    As of May 29, 2020, 1,102 students have been awarded a CARES emergency financial grant.

  • How the institution determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.

    UWF is using an application to determine which students will receive emergency financial aid grants. This chart is being used to determine the amount of funding. 

  • Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

    UWF developed a CARES webpage, instructions and guidance can be found at the top of this page.

Of note, ED made a change to when the 30-day reporting clock begins. Initially, ED had indicated that institutions were required to submit their first report 30 days from the date the institution signed the certification and agreement form. In this latest guidance, ED changed that date to 30 days from when the institution received its student portion of the HEERF.

ED noted that the above data points are to be reported in the aggregate and in a way that protects personally identifiable information, and should also be updated by the institution every 45 days after the first required 30-day reporting submission.

For the latest on how COVID-19 is impacting higher education and student financial aid, refer to NASFAA's COVID-19 Web Center.