Financial Aid

CSU Cares Initiative

CSU Monterey Bay has one funding source for our Emergency Initiative to help support our students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Department of Education Created the Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF).

Funding was not available to all students per federal law issued by the Department of Education (DOE) regarding the Cares Act. Therefore, CSUMB needed multiple avenues of emergency assistance for students.

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 $4,229,864 in funding from HEERF to give payments to students to help with expenses related to the COVID-19 emergency. 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 US 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.
  • The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in program under section 484 in title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 is a total of 5,900.

Distribution of Funds

CSUMB awarded a one-time lump sum to students in two different categories. Our neediest students, who have a zero EFC and enrolled full time, received a disbursement of $1,430. The total amount of students awarded in this group is 1,732. If the student was enrolled in halftime and had a zero EFC, they received a disbursement of $870. The total amount of students awarded in this group was 63.

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 a total of 4,105 eligible students

As of May 21st, the total amount disbursed to students is $3,352,570.

CARES Distribution of Funds

Students who received the amounts listed above, were notified through their CSUMB email account about the money awarded to them through their student center. Also, the email stated how to apply for additional amounts of emergency funding through the Cares Act.

Accessing Your Grant Money

The money was released to students either to their 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.

Emergency Cares Act Grant Additional Funding Application

The CSU Cares Initiative Emergency Funds was available to students seeking assistance beyond the automatic award through a brief application process. The application was open from April 30 to May 15 and funds were allocated on a first-come, first served basis until funds were depleted. The maximum request was $1,500.

The Financial Aid Office has awarded a total of 1004 emergency applications for a total of $877,294.

CARES Emergency Funds

Students were notified if they are approved or denied, during the week of May 20th.

Total Amount of Funds Disbursed

As of May 21st, CSUMB has distributed all of the student portion of the HEERF Funds in the total amount of $4,229,864.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Institutional Portion

Additionally, CSU Monterey Bay was given $4,229,863 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. Costs must be incurred on or after March 13, 2020 to be eligible. 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's, 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 its employees and contractors (e.g. auxiliary organizations) during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.

The university has spent the total allocation of the Intuitional Portion of the HEERF funding (a)(1) in the amount of $4,229,863 during the quarterly monthly reporting of September 30, 2020.

MSI Funding

The university has started to spend 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 December 31, 2020, the university has spent $160,613 of the total allocation of $607,023 of the MSI funding (a)(2). The university used this amount on laptops, hotspots, and other associated technology fees for students at CSUMB.

The quarterly report for September 30, 2020, December 31, 2020, March 30, 2021 and June 30, 2021 can be found below.