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 component of the Federal CARES Act establishes the Higher Education Emergency Relief (“HEERF”) fund, which provides funds to institutions of higher education, like MSSU, for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Notably, a portion of these funds are intended to be distributed directly to eligible students.

MSSU applied and was approved for $4,756,273.  Fifty percent of these funds are for emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic, including expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. For more information about MSSU’s plan for this grant, click here.

Each eligible student will be provided a $650 grant from the Federal CARES Act that will be disbursed by the MSSU Bursar’s office. This grant will not need to be repaid. A separate email will be sent to each student who receives the grant. The first round of grant disbursements will occur in May 2020 and continue until funding is exhausted.

Students will not need to complete a separate application to receive these funds. The MSSU Financial Aid office used the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine eligibility.  If students are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20 and need assistance, they should file a FAFSA at immediately. Students should notify when the FAFSA has been completed.

Students eligible for grants under the Federal CARES Act are those who:

(1) were not enrolled in an exclusively online program prior to March 13, 2020,

(2) experienced a disruption in campus operations due to COVID-19 pandemic, and

(3) are eligible for federal student aid and comply with specific federal requirements.

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to students pursuing our undergraduate, graduate, and certificate degree programs. Students must have been enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours as of 3/13/20 (and meet all other eligibility criteria) to receive the grant.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.

Please visit our COVID-19 website under Financial Aid for more detailed information.