CSU Cares Initiative
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Department of Education Created the Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF) provided funding to CSU Monterey Bay’s Emergency Initiative to help support our students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Student Emergency Grants
The purpose of the CARES Act funding is to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, childcare expenses, and other expenses caused by the disruption to campus operations.
- The CARES Act Funds do not need to be repaid.
- CARES Act Funds are not taxable, are not reported on your FAFSA, and do not affect your financial aid eligibility.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by the U.S. government in March to allocate financial support through several avenues. As part of the CARES Act, the Department of Education created the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). CSUMB is a beneficiary of funding from HEERF I, II, and III to give payments to students to help with expenses related to the COVID-19 emergency.
- HEERF I: $4,220,864
- HEERF II: $9,225,852
- HEERF III: $11,855,415
CSUMB acknowledged, signed, and returned to the Department of Education the certification for the HEERF funds. The university intends to use no less than 50% of the funds in emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
The HEERF funds are not to supplement the loss of employment. These aid payments are intended to help with expenses incurred as a result of the emergency, including housing, food, course materials, technology, healthcare, or childcare.
CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education, which is being allocated through automatic, lump-sum grants, is specifically designated to support all currently enrolled undergraduate, and graduate, and professional students who are eligible to receive federal financial aid under section 484 in title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
On May 21, 2020, CSUMB awarded a one-time lump sum to students in two different categories. Our neediest students, who have a zero EFC and are enrolled full time. Students in this group received a disbursement of $1,430. If the student was enrolled in halftime and had a zero EFC, they received a disbursement of $870. The second category was for all other eligible or could have been eligible Title IV recipients. An automatic one-time lump sum of $200 was awarded to this group.
On March 15, 2021, an additional $3,328,400 in CARES Act funding was distributed to 5,433 students. Pell-eligible students in 6.5 units or more received $800 and all other financial aid eligible students received $400.
On September 13, 2021, CARES Act Funds were distributed to eligible students based on their enrollment status and Pell eligibility with the neediest students receiving a larger award. Pell-eligible, full-time students received $2,600. Pell-eligible students enrolled part-time received $900. Non-Pell Eligible students were awarded $900 (full-time) or $600 (part-time).
On March 10, 2022, we notified all Pell undergraduate and teaching credential students through email communication to apply for HEERF funding if they had any COVID-related emergencies. The funds were awarded to students based on a first come first serve basis. Students were eligible for up to $1,500 in emergency funds for the spring semester. All students who were approved or denied received communication on April 1. 2022 regarding their outcome.
On February 12, 2023, Cal State Monterey Bay reissued uncashed HEERF Funding to additional students. We offered it to students who were undergraduate, full-time students, who had an expected Family Contribution of zero, who filed their financial aid application by March 2, 2022, and who had the greatest unmet need.
Students were notified through their CSUMB email account about the money awarded to them through their student center and how to apply for additional amounts of emergency funding through the Cares Act.
The funds were released to the student's bank account via direct deposit or if they were not signed up for direct deposit, it was mailed to their mailing address listed in OASIS.
The CSU Cares Initiative Emergency Funds was available to students seeking assistance beyond the automatic award through a brief application process on a first-come, first-served basis until funds were depleted.
- Application Period: April 30, 2020 to May 15, 2020
- Maximum Award: $1,500
- Total Number of Applications: 1004
- Total Emergency Funds Awarded: $877,294
- Notification Sent: Week of May 20, 2020
- Application Period: Opened on March 20, 2021
- Maximum Award: $500
- Total Number of Applications: 388
- Total Emergency Funds Awarded: $194,000
- Application Period: Opened on March 10, 2022
- Maximum Award: $1500
- Total Number of Applications: 614
- Total Emergency Funds Awarded: $863,896
Additionally, CSU Monterey Bay was given funds in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for the institution to spend. Pursuant to H.R. 748 (CARES Act), section 18004(c), CSU campuses may use monies to cover costs incurred associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. Examples of allowable uses permitted under the broad institutional authority granted by the CARES Act include lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, payroll costs, and emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses. Section 18006 of the CARES Act provides further guidance regarding the use of monies provided under by act, stating that institutions of higher education shall to the greatest extent practicable continue to pay their employees and contractors (e.g. auxiliary organizations) during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.
- HEERF I: $4,229,863
- HEERF II: $9,225,852
- HEERF III: $11,763,278
The university has spent the money from the Minority Serving Institutions Awards to address needs directly related to the coronavirus under Section 18004(a)(2) of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Minority Serving Institutions Awards may be used for institutional costs or emergency student grants, similar to the CARES Act Institutional Portion awards. In all cases, the use of CARES Act funding must be directly related to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of March 2022, the university has spent the total allocation of $2,901,258 of the MSI funding (a)(2). The university used this amount on emergency grants, laptops, hotspots, and other associated technology fees for students at CSUMB.