Federal CARES ACT Funding 30-day Report
On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the CARES Act (H.R. 748), which provides emergency relief funds to organizations and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), found in Section 18004 of the CARES Act, provides funding to institutions of higher education “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” This report provides details on the first award The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) received under the HEERF, the funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Part I - Acknowledgement of Funding and Certification
The University of Texas at El Paso acknowledges that it reviewed, signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students on April 10, 2020, and the University received its grant award notification on April 20, 2020. In keeping with the terms of the certification and agreement, UTEP will use at least 50% of the funds received under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), to provide Emergency Financial Assistance Grants to students.
Part II - Data
|Total Amount of Funds Received||Total Amount of Funds Distributed
(as of May 19, 2020)
|Estimated Total Title IV Eligible Students *||Total Number of Students Received Grant
(as of May 19, 2020)
Part III - Methods Used to Determine Which Students Receive Aid and How Much
The University of Texas at El Paso, in accordance with federal guidelines, established a plan to promptly and equitably assist students with the greatest need through the Federal CARES Act Assistance Grant. Students are awarded from the funds based on completion of the CARES Act Assistance Grant application available on the UTEP CARES website. Students must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to access the application:
- Must have been enrolled in the spring 2020 semester in a degree-seeking program
- Must not have been enrolled in an exclusively online program before March 13, 2020
- Must have successfully completed and submitted a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to UTEP and be eligible for Title IV funding
- Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements
The application assists the University in prioritizing student need by allowing students to indicate financial hardship caused by the disruption to campus operations and the changes in the delivery of instruction due to COVID-19, including the loss of campus employment/internships and the loss of on-campus housing. Provided that the students were eligible to receive these funds and based on the individual student’s circumstances and needs as indicated on the HEERF/CARES application, CARES grants were approved, with an average award amount of $630 per student.
In accordance with the regulations and available guidance, grant funds are being paid directly to students and not towards outstanding student account balances. The awards provided through the fund are to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations and the changes in the delivery of instruction due to COVID-19, including cost of attendance items such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
Part IV - Instructions
Instructions on completing the CARES Act Assistance Grant application and guidance regarding student eligibility were provided by The University of Texas at El Paso to all students through numerous channels of communication:
- Information was provided in a Presidential Bulletin sent via email to all students
- Publication on the University’s UTEP Cares website
- In an announcement posted on the Campus Newsfeed
- Social media posts
- Provided on the CARES Act Assistance Grant application
- Emails and calling campaigns to targeted student populations
Students needing additional directions or instructions are encouraged to contact the UTEP CARES Response Team at 1-877-747-8983 or the Office of Student Financial Aid at 915-747-5204 for assistance.