CARES Act Information for Students

May 5, 2020

NOTE: CARES Act funding has been distributed. No further applications are being accepted.

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides higher education institutions, including Seton Hill University, with funding to award students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus during the Spring 2020 semester.

Funds are to be made available to students as direct cash grants to help them with unexpected financial hardships resulting from the pandemic.

As a result, Seton Hill University developed a framework to distribute these limited funds to reach the greatest number of students in need as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Seton Hill has determined that these one-time, direct grants will be made in the range of $500 to $1,500 depending on financial hardship and availability of funds. Students receiving this aid must be Title IV eligible, in good academic standing, and enrolled in face-to-face classes as of March 13, 2020 based on U.S. Department of Education guidance. Submitting an application does not guarantee receipt of emergency funds. Grants will be distributed to students via check or direct deposit.

Seton Hill will give first preference for grant funds to Seton Hill students who demonstrate the most financial need based on their Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, including Pell-eligible students and those whose Estimated Family Contributions are less than $10,000.

Students who are not eligible based on the above criteria, but who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus, may also receive funding due to this hardship.  

Seton Hill will consider the following hardship criteria when granting awards:

  • Reduction in personal or household income due to job loss, reduced work hours, or temporary furlough (not reimbursed through unemployment compensation);
  • Unmet housing or food expenses incurred by the transition to off-campus living;
  • Education-related costs required for online learning, including technology accessibility for individuals with disabilities;
  • Unaffordable travel expenses to return home due to campus shutdown; or
  • Healthcare costs associated with the pandemic for the student or family members.

All students were directed to apply for direct cash grant through the CARES Act through an online application. Students were asked to outline the type of hardship that they have encountered along with documentation to support the claim.  Examples may include a housing rental/lease agreement, invoices, receipts, airfare or mileage calculations, or a detailed explanation in the event of absence of documentation.

Applications were reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid upon receipt, and students were informed of the decision.

Along with distributing these cash grants, the Seton Hill University Office of Financial Aid continued its longstanding practice of working with students to adjust their 2020-21 financial aid packages as necessary if their financial circumstances  changed significantly since filing their (FAFSA). Students whose income had changed due to COVID-19 were asked to complete a special consideration form.

Students should reach out to or 724-830-1010 with any questions about the CARES Act cash grants or their 2020-21 financial aid packages.