CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

Have questions? Undergraduate students should email financialaid@ualr.edu and graduate students should email gradschool@ualr.edu.

How to apply for the CARES Act funds

Method 1: CARES Act Direct Aid for Undergraduates

The first method is through the CARES Act Direct Aid for Undergraduates, which will be used to award funds directly to undergraduate students enrolled in the spring 2020 term. Initial disbursements are expected from Wednesday, May 13 through Friday, May 15, 2020. Eligible undergraduates will receive an award posted to their BankMobile account (see below for BankMobile instructions). The award amount is based on multiple factors, including the number of enrolled credit hours as well as unmet financial need as determined from the FAFSA. Students who receive funds through the CARES Act Direct Aid for Undergraduates must meet eligibility requirements provided by the U.S. Department of Education, including:

  • Enrolled as a degree-seeking undergraduate as of March 27, 2020.
  • Enrolled in either a primary or a secondary degree program that is not an online degree program as of March 27, 2020.
  • Submitted a FAFSA for the academic year 2019-20.
  • As part of the acceptance of the funds, the student agrees that the funds will be used for “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).” Students who do not agree to use the funds for this use must complete the form to opt-out of CARES Act funding by no later than May 12, 2020. If the opt-out form is completed after May 12, 2020, students will need to contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships about the process to return CARES Act funds.

Method 2: CARES Act Aid Application

The second method to receive funds is through the CARES Act Aid Application. Eligible undergraduates and graduates, including students enrolled at the Bowen School of Law and the Clinton School of Public Service, may apply to receive reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses through the CARES Act Aid Application.

Undergraduates should apply here. (Note: Undergraduates should only submit a CARES Act Aid Application if they received no or insufficient funding through Method 1, CARES Act Direct Aid for Undergraduates.)

Graduates, including Bowen School of Law and Clinton School of Public Service, should apply here.

Students who receive funds through the CARES Act Aid Application must meet eligibility requirements provided by the U.S. Department of Education, including:

  • If a student submitted a valid FAFSA for the academic year 2019-20, then the student may receive emergency financial aid grants.
  • If a student has not submitted a valid FAFSA but is eligible to file a FAFSA, then the student may still receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate includes but is not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.
  • Enrolled in either a primary or a secondary degree program that is not an online degree.
  • Further, a student who receives funds must agree that the funds will be used for “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”

Beginning May 18, 2020, designated committees will meet weekly to review and make award decisions on applications submitted through the CARES Act Aid Application. Awards for approved applications will be disbursed periodically, usually weekly, depending on the number of applications approved.

Important:  Please Verify Your BankMobile Account

UA Little Rock intends to disburse the funds as quickly as possible to eligible students. To ensure there are no delays in processing, please verify you have signed up to receive refunds through BankMobile. If you are unsure of the process, or have not signed up, please review the instructions for BankMobile at ualr.edu/bursar.