HEERF Student Reporting as of 12/31/2020

This information was updated to reflect disbursements to students as of 12/31/2020. 

Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

The Department of Education, through the Office of Postsecondary Education, issued guidelines for the reporting of CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students as follows:

An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst signed and returned to the Department of Education the Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 14, 2020.

The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The University has been allocated $9,167,622 of CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grant funds by the Department of Education.  These funds were allocated by the Department to the University on April 24, 2020.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

As of December 31, 2020, the University has distributed $9,167,622 to students as Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

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 thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The number of Title IV eligible students enrolled during the spring totals 17,267 as follows:  Undergraduate: 16,399; Graduate: 914; Non-degree: 14.

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of December 31, 2020, the University has distributed Emergency Financial Aid Grants to 8,815 students.

The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

UMass Amherst followed Department of Education guidelines when distributing Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The guidelines recommended that the grants go to students with the greatest need and to distribute the funds as widely as possible within that group. According to the Department, the funds were to be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Eligible expenses included a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. Only students who are Title IV eligible and who were not taking courses exclusively online prior to the campus being closed are eligible to receive CARES Act funds.

CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants Formula Distribution ($8.3M)

Several variables were considered in establishing the fund-distribution model:

  • ​The level of the student’s need, based on the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) as derived from the FAFSA;
  • The level of need-based aid the student received from UMass Amherst;
  • The amount of food and housing costs students incurred spring semester relative to their overall cost of attendance.

The food and housing variable was used based on the assumption that all students would continue to incur these expenses throughout the remainder of the semester and that those with the greatest need would have the greatest challenge to cover these expenses and the other eligible expenses as outlined by the Department of Education.

Distribution of CARES Act Funds on May 12, 2020

EFC Range Total Number of Students Average Amount Distributed Total Distributed
$0 to $5576 (Pell) 4,948 $1,107 $5,478,441
$5,577 to $8,000 922 $1,127 $1,038,653
$8,001 to $10,000 549 $1,035 $568,339
$10,001 to $14,500 903 $900 $812,700
$14,501 and higher 466 $900 $419,400
Total 7,788 $1,068 $8,317,533

CARES Emergency Hardship Grants Distribution ($100K)

Several variables were considered in determining the award recipients:

  • ​The student has filed a FAFSA for 2019-2020 and meets Title IV Federal Financial Aid eligibility requirements;
  • The student completed a hardship application;
  • The student lost on-campus employment as a direct result of COVID19

The amount of the awards were relative to the student’s need and level of financial hardship that they were faced with.

CARES Graduate Emergency Financial Aid Grants Formula Distribution ($556K)

Several variables were considered in determining the award recipients:

  • ​Student is enrolled as a degree-seeking graduate student for Spring 2020;
  • Student has filed a FAFSA for 2019-2020 and meets Title IV Federal Financial Aid eligibility requirements;
  • Student has maintained the minimum requirements of Satifactory Academic Progress
  • Student demonstrated financial need based on a combination of graduate student spring and summer assistantship status

An estimate of the amount of additional COVID-19 related costs

CARES Graduate Emergency Financial Aid Grants Formula Distribution ($194K)

Several variables were considered in determining the award recipients:

  • ​Student is enrolled as a degree-seeking graduate student for Fall 2020;
  • Student has filed a FAFSA for 2020-2021 and meets Title IV Federal Financial Aid eligibility requirements;
  • Student has maintained the minimum requirements of Satifactory Academic Progress
  • Student demonstrated financial need based on a combination of graduate student spring and summer assistantship status

An estimate of the amount of additional COVID-19 related costs

Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Information was provided to students receiving Emergency Financial Aid Grants and was sent by email.  Open a copy of the emailed letter.

The emailed letter referenced a frequently asked questions web page that contains specific information about the Emergency Financial Aid Grants available at www.umass.edu/bursar/cares-act-emergency-financial-aid-grant.