CARES Act Information

The Federal CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides economic relief to students who incurred 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).

Missouri State University is committed to providing this economic relief money directly to our students in as transparent and expeditious a manner as possible. Undoubtedly, there will be questions regarding who is eligible to receive these funds, how the money will be distributed to students, and how receipt of CARES Act funding may impact a student's other finances. Please review the FAQ items below for additional guidance.

Required reporting

All institutions receiving CARES Act funding are required to complete multiple reports.

Access Missouri State's CARES Act Reports

Frequently asked questions

  • Why did I get this money?
    • The Department of Education has made CARES Act funds available to students who incurred expenses as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions to their campus operations. In our initial round of fund distributions, Missouri State University identified a pool of eligible students that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 related disruptions to normal campus operations. These students received a $250 immediate assistance grant on April 29, 2020 under Phase 1 of the distribution process (continue reading for details on Phase 2 distributions).
  • Are graduate students eligible for Phase 1 Cares Act distributions?
    • No. However, CARES Act eligible graduate students may apply for Phase 2 funds beginning Monday, May 4, 2020.
  • I got this money as a refund. Does this mean my Missouri State University account balance has been paid off?
    • No. Distribution of CARES Act funds is made directly to students and not applied by the University toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by the student. As such, receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to Missouri State University for any debts incurred during the spring 2020 term or any terms prior. Please check your current account balance to determine what you may still owe.
  • Can I use this money to pay off my MSU balance?
    • Yes. Missouri State University is not authorized to apply CARES Act funds toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by a student. However, once the funds are received as a refund, students may choose to use the funds to pay off their outstanding account balance.
  • Can MSU just apply the funds to my account balance with my approval or permission?
    • No. Federal regulations stipulate that all CARES Act funds must be disbursed directly to the student and may not be applied toward outstanding balances. To use these funds to pay-off an outstanding balance with MSU, a student must make a payment to their account through the Bursar’s Office.
  • What are the eligibility criteria to qualify for CARES Act funding?
    • Based on guidance provided by the Department of Education, students must meet the following eligibility parameters to qualify for CARES Act funds:
      • Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. (e.g., be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds such as the Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Loans, etc.).
      • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program on or prior to March 13, 2020.
      • Be a degree-seeking student enrolled in 1 or more credit hours for the Spring 2020 term.
  • Am I eligible to receive CARES Act funds if I have a terminated Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status?
    • No. Guidance issued by the Department of Education indicates that students with a terminated SAP status are not eligible for CARES Act fund distributions.
  • Are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students eligible for CARES Act funds?
    • No. Guidance issued by the Department of Education indicates that students must be eligible to submit a FAFSA in order to qualify for the CARES Act funds. This limits eligibility to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Title IV eligible non-citizens.
  • Are international students eligible for CARES Act funds?
    • No. Guidance issued by the Department of Education indicates that students must be eligible to submit a FAFSA in order to qualify for the CARES Act funds. This limits eligibility to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Title IV eligible non-citizens.
  • Do I have to pay this money back?
    • No. Any funds a student receives from the CARES Act will not need to be repaid.
  • Does this money count against my financial aid package?
    • No. Money from the CARES Act is not considered financial assistance under federal statue, nor Department of Education regulations. As such, these funds will not impact your eligibility for regular financial aid (e.g., grants, scholarships, loans).
  • Is money received from the CARES Act considered taxable income?
    • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.
  • If I received money from Phase 1 ($250) but still have need, can I get more money?
    • Possibly. Phase 2 of the Missouri State University CARES Act distribution process will be an application-based funding request process. Starting on Monday, May 4 eligible students will be able to request up to $1,000 in Phase 2 CARES Act funds using the application found under their “My Financial Aid’ section of their My.MissouriState.edu account.
  • If I did not receive money from Phase 1 will I qualify for Phase 2 distributions?
    • Possibly. Phase 2 of the Missouri State University CARES Act distribution process will be an application-based funding request process. Starting on Monday, May 4 eligible students will be able to request up to $1,000 in Phase 2 CARES Act funds using the application found under their “My Financial Aid’ section of their My.MissouriState.edu account.
  • If I do not qualify for any CARES Act funding are there any other emergency funds for which I can apply?
    • ​​​​​​​Yes. Those students not eligible for funding under the CARES Act relief program may apply for institutional relief funds. However, these funds also have eligibility criteria that applicants must meet to qualify. Additionally, unlike CARES Act funds, institutional emergency funds will count against an applicant's financial aid package and will be applied to any institutional charges prior to being refunded to the student.

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