Frequently Asked Questions
We realize that the complexities related to COVID-19 disruptions may cause concern and confusion for CMU students and families. Please know that The HUB is available to help you navigate financial issues you may be facing. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your HUB liaison directly.
Can I apply for both a student emergency grant and TESF assistance?
Yes, a student may apply for both funds, and receive assistance from both, if the need is acute and the student is otherwise eligible.
Can a parent or family member apply on behalf of a CMU student?
No. Only a CMU student may apply for a student emergency grant or TESF assistance. Parents or family members who financially support a CMU student may speak to their HUB liaison regarding finances and/or financial concerns, as long as the student has given CMU permission to do so.
Can international students and undocumented (DACA) students receive HEERF grants?
Yes. The Department of Education's final rule on student eligibility for HEERF states that all students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV aid. That includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students. International students may also receive HEERF. However, institutions must ensure that funds go to students who have exceptional need. The Department encourages institutions to prioritize domestic students, especially undergraduates, in allocating this funding. This includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students.
Can students who are studying abroad receive HEERF grants?
Do I have to repay the emergency financial assistance I received through the student emergency grant?
Are emergency financial aid grants to students under the HEERF program considered taxable income?
No. Emergency financial aid grants made by a federal agency, State, Indian tribe, higher education institution or scholarship-granting organization (including a tribal organization) to a student because of an event related to the COVID-19 national emergency are not included in the student's gross income. For more information, please see the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) bulletin "Emergency aid granted to students due to COVID is not taxable" (published March 30, 2021).
What can a student emergency grant be used for?
Student emergency grants are available to assist eligible students with any component of the student's cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, technology, health care, or child care.
I initially declined my student emergency grant but now have need. Can I still receive support?
Yes, as long as there are still funds available. Please reach out to your HUB liaison to discuss your circumstances and needs. Your liaison will be able to reissue your link to the application.
I filled out my application incorrectly. Can I make changes and resubmit?
Once the application is submitted, you will no longer be able to use the link you received to make changes. If you made a mistake on your application and need to make an adjustment, please contact your HUB liaison to resolve the issue.
Why did I not receive an email about student emergency grant assistance?
My application to receive a HEERF grant was denied; what else might I be eligible for?
Students who are not eligible for a student emergency grant will be considered for other sources of emergency funds, such as the Tartan Emergency Support Fund (TESF). Students may contact their HUB liaison to discuss their situation and options.
What does "exceptional need" mean?
The university is required to prioritize emergency grants to students who have exceptional need. For the purposes of awarding HEERF emergency student grants, the university defines exceptional need as a student who:
- Is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant; or
- Has federal financial need; or
- Requires financial assistance for basic needs (food, rent, etc.); or
- Is unable to continue or complete their academic endeavors due to finances; or
- Has faced significant unexpected expenses, such as loss of employment (either for themselves or their families), reduced income, or food or housing insecurity.
How will I receive my funds?
When applying for a student emergency grant, you will have the ability to decide whether the funds will be applied as a credit on your student account or whether you would prefer for the funds to be distributed directly to you.
To expedite receipt of any awarded funds, students with a U.S. checking or savings account should designate a bank account in Student Information Online (SIO) for electronic refunding. Funds will then be automatically deposited into their designated refund account within 1-3 business days.
While electronic refunding is the best way to receive a refund, students who are not enrolled in electronic refunding should ensure that their permanent address in Student Information Online (SIO) is up-to-date and accurate. The university will send a check in the student's name to the mailing address listed in SIO. This process takes between 7-14 business days.