The U.S. Department of Education established the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to provide emergency financial aid grants to students who experienced unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligibility Requirements for WFU Students Receiving the Grant:
CARES Act eligibility requirements for Wake Forest students, which include:
- being enrolled (not withdrawn or in “continuous enrollment status”) as of March 27, 2020; and remaining enrolled in the same academic program as of Jan. 29, 2021;
- having valid FAFSA results for 2019-2020 as of March 27, 2020;
- having at least one on-campus class as of March 27, 2020;
- being eligible to participate in Title IV federal financial aid.
The University has prioritized extending CARES Act funds to students with the greatest financial need as recommended by the U.S. Department of Education.
Using the Grant:
According to the CARES Act, funds are for the “sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.” Students are not required to report how they spend their CARES Act funds; however, we are providing these guidelines so that students are aware of their intended use per the U.S. Department of Education.
FAQ for Students Eligible for the CARES HEERF Grant:
How did Wake Forest determine who will receive CARES Act emergency aid grants?
Wake Forest prioritized extending CARES Act funds to students with the greatest financial need as recommended by the Department of Education. Our guideline for awards gave grants to undergraduate and graduate/professional school students on the Reynolda Campus enrolled in the 2020-21 academic year based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
How do I set up direct deposit?
Refer to this website for detailed instructions. Direct Deposit must be set up by Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Why is the amount I received different than the amount my friend/classmate received?
Grant amounts were calculated based on a student’s individual circumstances and their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Multiple tiers of grant amounts were created for undergraduates based on their demonstrated financial need.
My financial situation has changed and I am in need. Can I apply for these grants?
Although these grants have already been awarded, you can contact Student Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-758-5154 to discuss your needs and to explore other options.
Will my award impact my financial aid for next year?
No. This award will not be factored into your financial aid for this year or next year.
Is this award considered taxable income?
No, this award is not taxable income as it is considered a qualified disaster relief payment under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Will this award be reflected on my Form 1098-T?
No. This award will not be reflected on your 2020 or 2021 1098-T tax form.
Why did Wake Forest not immediately award these grants when the funds became available?
The University spent time evaluating the regulatory requirements for acceptance and distribution of CARES Act funds before proceeding.
Will the University disburse any additional CARES funding?
Yes. The University is currently reviewing the regulatory requirements for the second round of CARES Act funding and developing a disbursement methodology.