CARES Act Sample Higher Education Reporting

NOTE — This is for illustrative purposes.

Fictional State College horizontal logo


Certification and Agreement

On May 26, 2020, Fictional State College signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement Form, in compliance with the CARES Act. In keeping with the provisions of that Act, Fictional State College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.


Amount Received


Fictional State College has received a total of $201,010 from the Department of Education, pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.


Amount Distributed to Date


As of September 30, 2020, Fictional State College has distributed $98,526 directly to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.


Number of Students Eligible


Approximately 300 students at Fictional State College are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants.


Eligible students must meet the following requirements to receive funding:

  • Enrolled in a degree or certificate program during Spring Term 2020
  • Not enrolled in an online-only program
  • Completed a valid 2019-20 FAFSA, and any required federal FAFSA verification
  • Making satisfactory academic progress
  • Does not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans and is not in default on a Title IV loan
  • Is a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen
  • Has Selective Service registration verified
  • Has Social Security Number verified
  • Meets other eligibility requirements as established by the 2019-20 FAFSA

Additionally, a student’s 2019-20 FAFSA EFC and Spring 2020 academic level will be considered in determining eligibility amounts for students meeting the above criteria.



Number of Students Who Have Applied for and Received Aid to Date


As of September 30, 2020, 186 students have applied for and received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.


CARES Act reporting data trend


Method of Determining which Students Would Receive Aid


Eligible students were asked to apply for up to $1,000 in grant funding under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. The initial call for applications was emailed to students on May 26, 2020 with follow up emails sent on May 30, 2020 and June 4, 2020. The application deadline was June 6, 2020 and determinations were made for disbursement by June 30, 2020.

Students were asked to submit any documentation to indicate emergency need due to unexpected costs resulting from the disruption of campus operations related to the coronavirus pandemic. These costs may include:

  • Food – including groceries and meals
  • Housing and living expenses due to relocation or other circumstances
  • Unexpected transportation or moving expenses related to relocation
  • Health-care and/or child-care costs
  • Technology-related expenses, such as computer equipment or Internet access
  • Course books and materials

Fictional State has established a committee to facilitate the distribution of emergency funding pursuant to the regulations established by the Department of Education. The College intends to distribute funding as quickly as possible in order to provide maximum benefit to the students impacted by COVID-19. The College is required to spend its share of the funding within one year.


Students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants were allocated amounts from $500-$1,000 based on demonstrated need, which was determined by Pell-grant eligibility, Expected Family Contribution amounts, outstanding account balances, and additional need incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Students are eligible to appeal their funding determination based on additional demonstrated financial need. As the College anticipates ongoing need for financial support during the pandemic, Fictional State College will distribute the remaining Emergency Financial Aid Grants this fall to eligible students, through a second call for applications.




Students were emailed instructions for applying for Emergency Financial Aid Grants, and instructions were offered on the Fictional State College Coronavirus webpage. Students with questions or concerns have been instructed to email for support.




  • Am I eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?
  • Can my CARES Act Emergency Grant be used to pay my bill?
  • How do I apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?
  • If I am no longer enrolled am I still eligible to apply for a CARES Act Emergency Grant?
  • Are international students eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grant funds?
  • I do not qualify for CARES Act funds, but my circumstances have changed and I need help. What are my options?
  • Will the CARES Act grant affect my eligibility for financial aid in the fall 2020 semester?
  • Is the CARES Act grant taxable?
  • What expenses qualify under the CARES Act?
  • Do I need to submit receipts or documentation about how I use this money?
  • What if I no longer need the money – should I return it?
  • Do I need to pay back the money?
  • What if my or my family’s income has decreased compared to the income on my FAFSA?