COVID-19
Emergency Grant Funding

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recognizes the extra expenses that students have faced due to the interruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Carolina has been awarding emergency grants to students from multiple funds, including the student portion of CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

These awards are to help with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including cost of attendance, such as food, housing, transportation, course materials, technology, health care and child care. Carolina’s plan was established to assist students with immediate needs for relocation and completion of the spring term, and those students with the greatest need, in accordance with federal guidelines, while ensuring there were adequate funds available for those students who did not meet the initial grant selection group criteria.

More information

Student Impact Fund

Funded by private donors, the student impact fund is available for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Carolina enrolled in spring or summer 2020. Funds are awarded based on the Student Impact Fund Application.

For the spring 2020 term, more than 900 students were awarded nearly $800,000 from this fund. In addition, other campus funds and departments funded approximately $300,000 in additional emergency grants to students.

For the summer undergraduate, graduate and professional students will be prioritized for this award, up to a maximum of $750 per summer term within the summer cost of attendance, based upon

  • Registration for one or both summer sessions
  • Experienced expenses due to COVID-19
  • Have applied for financial aid for 2019-20 and exhausted other available resources including student loans.

Certain graduate students who have these expenses and have lost summer funding for clinical or similar study may receive higher amounts up to $1,600 for one summer term or $4,200 for both summer terms.

CARES Act Grants for Needy Students

Funds will be targeted to students who experienced the disruption of the Spring 2020 semester and who are continuing their studies into summer 2020 and/or fall 2020. To be eligible for these grants students must be a degree-seeking student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be deemed eligible for Title IV funding. Funding will be available for the following students based upon new or existing applications for emergency aid:

  • Direct support to HEERF eligible students for Spring 2020 expenses as a result of the interruption of campus operations due to COVID 19 per their application where funds were previously advanced by the university in anticipation of HEERF funding (whether or not these students are continuing to fall 2020.)
  • Direct support to HEERF eligible students for spring or summer 2020 for expenses as a result of the interruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 where funds had not yet been advanced by the University, based upon applications to the Student Impact Fund or other Emergency Grant Programs.
  • Graduate students with lost summer or fall stipends or other funding support who request support for unmet expenses due to the pandemic interruption of their programs.

A majority of CARES funding will be given in the following priority order without requiring an application from the affected student:

  • Students who qualify for the Carolina Covenant program. These students represent the lowest income undergraduates with incomes below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Students who qualify for Pell grant and other need-based grants but are not Covenant students.

All CARES funds will be deposited directly to the student’s account and be refunded to their bank via direct deposit. Students who have not signed up for direct deposit are encouraged to do so but will receive checks if no direct deposit information is available.  Students should expect to receive the funds not requiring an application in later July or August 2020. No funds from HEERF will be applied to any outstanding or future balances on the student account in accordance with the terms of the CARES Act.  Students may choose to use the funds they received to pay a balance if they choose once it has been refunded.

A portion of the funds may also be set aside for emergency grants for other affected students who may apply for grant funding by attesting to the costs they have incurred as a result of the interruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Any student receiving grant money from the CARES Act must also have filed a FAFSA and demonstrated Title IV eligibility. Financial Aid Officers in the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid may award funds for these emergency situations and make exceptions to the standard award amounts for individual situations based on their professional judgment of additional expenses and need for funding.

Federal CARES Act

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends 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 institution has/will receive $8,647,589.

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, is 22,500.

As of May 20, the University has awarded $900,372 to 1,008 students.