CARES Act Policy and Procedures for Northern Vermont University

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides financial support to organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Part of the CARES Act provides funds that allows colleges and universities like NVU to provide one-time emergency grants to students who have demonstrated financial need based on FAFSA information for unexpected expenses, (such as food, housing, technology/course requirements, unanticipated travel, replacement of medications, emergency childcare due to school closures, etc.) related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into law on March 27, 2020.  Northern Vermont University signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement which required that the institution has used or has the intention to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004 (a) (1) of the CARES act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

The student portion of the CARES Act funds was received by Northern Vermont University on May 5, 2020 for $966,171.  We are awarding these funds directly to students to help with expenses incurred as a result of the disruption caused by COVID-19 and move to remote learning.

NVU has 1157 undergraduate and 168 graduate students, in eligible, in-person programs.  These students filed FAFSA’s and met basic eligibility criteria and are therefore eligible to receive CARES Act funds.   CARES Act regulations state that financial need should be considered. The majority of the funds will be awarded to the neediest undergraduate students.  Students must be registered at least half-time to be eligible to receive funds. 

As of May 15, 2020, $812,550 has been awarded to 783 undergraduate students

EFC Range

(Expected Family Contribution from FAFSA)

Total awarded

Number of Undergraduate Students

Amount Awarded

(PELL Grant eligible)
(PELL Grant eligible)
Dependent students with tuition waivers receive ½ of standard amount.


This leaves $153,621 to be awarded to students with extenuating circumstances to apply for emergency grant funds using our application. The CARES Act – Student Application for Emergency Aid is simple and asks students to identify expenses in the areas of as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.  Applications will be reviewed and CARES Act funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis until all Emergency funds are spent. In addition, Emergency SEOG funds are available to be awarded to Distance Learning students.

July 17, 2020 Update:  The CARES Act Emergency application became available on the NVU website on June 3, 2020 and students were notified of the application by email and by a Portal Announcement. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis and eligibility is determined using the same award amounts and EFC range from the table above and dividing the award amount by the number of items checked as needs on the applications: 

  • Basic Needs (Food, Housing, Utilities
  • Health/Family Needs (Health Care/Child Care)
  • Education Related Expenses (Technology needed for online coureses -- laptop, computer, tablet -- Course Materials, Transporation

As of July 17, 2020, a total of $826,869 has been awarded to 802 undergraduate students.

In addition, $46,873 in Emergency SEOG funds have been awarded to 68 Distance Learning and Graduate students.

The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) also included support for the university’s response to the pandemic. NVU received $966,170 in the institutional portion of the relief package. NVU also received an additional $94,217 from the Title III Strengthening Institutions portion of the CARES Act HEERF. These funds total $1,060,387 and $918,702 was utilized to support faculty salaries through disrupted instruction and the implementation of remote delivery methods during the spring 2020 semester.

CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Application Criteria and Process

CARES Act funding is to be used for expenses related to the related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the Spring 2020 semester, which include, technology/course requirements, unanticipated travel, replacement of medications, emergency childcare due to school closures, etc.) :

  • Must be a currently enrolled degree-seeking student–undergraduate or graduate student at Northern Vermont University.
  • Enrolled in the Spring 2020 at Northern Vermont University and have not subsequently withdrawn.
  • Must have filed a FAFSA and meet 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.
  • Students enrolled in fully online programs/Distance Learning prior to March 13, 2020 ARE NOT eligible to apply for CARES Act funds, based on Department of Education Guidelines, but may apply for Emergency SEOG using this application.

All applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible.  We expect a high volume of applications, so please be patient. You will be notified at your NVU email address of the status of your application once it has been reviewed.

If you are approved, the funds will be awarded directly to you at:

  • Your direct deposit account (please ensure it remains active)
  • If a direct deposit account is not set up, funds will be mailed to your home mailing address.

CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Application