CARES Emergency Assistance Grant
No more funding is available. It has been fully distributed to students. However, other options are available.
Our CARES Act initial funding report is lower on this page.
Updated July 9, 2020
An application was made available on May 5, 2020 for student requests for the CARES Emergency Assistance Grant. The University of Akron has successfully distributed all of the funds for emergency financial aid grants to students, which were made available through the U.S. Department of Education under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
These funds were provided to the University to help students offset financial hardships caused by the pandemic. More than 6,400 UA students benefited from $7 million in immediate assistance to be used for expenses such as housing, food, course materials, technology and child care.
Options for financial hardship assistance
Though the CARES Act funds are exhausted, the University offers a variety of support programs to help students who are experiencing a financial hardship.
- Through the work of ZipAssist, students have access to the Student Emergency Financial Assistance (SEFA) program, which provides one-time assistance for unforeseeable emergency hardships to eligible students.
- The Campus Cupboard provides food and hygiene items each week to enrolled students. The distribution of items will continue through online requests, which are distributed with curbside pick-up from Simmons Hall.
- Students who are concerned about reliable technology for remote learning should seek assistance through the ZipsTech program. This program provides loaned equipment, such as laptops, hot spots and webcams so students can continue their education.
Information about any of these programs, or any concern related to enrollment at UA, can be sought through the Help-A-Zip referral program. A member of the ZipAssist team will work with the students to troubleshoot concerns and provide resources to help them succeed.
UA continues to provide free financial coaching through the partnership with the United Way of Summit County. Faculty and staff who wish to use this confidential resource are encouraged to visit Financial Wellness on the ZipAssist website.
How long will it take for me to receive the funds?
Receiving the payment may take up to 10 days after approval. The committee will review applications on an ongoing basis and make decisions as quickly as possible.
Once an application has been approved, notification will be sent to the student's University inbox. In the event an application is not approved, the student will be notified as soon as possible to provide additional information or to clarify eligibility.
How will the funds be received?
CARES Emergency Assistance Grant funds will be sent by check to the address provided in the application. We recommend you regularly update your mailing address in My Akron. Due to these unique circumstances, you may request your check to be sent to your current residence.
Could these funds be deemed taxable by the IRS?
CARES Act student payments are non-taxable, according to the IRS.
Can CARES Emergency Assistance Grant funds be applied to my University balance or account?
No, the University cannot directly apply these funds to an outstanding balance on a student’s account. The University will disburse funds to students by check.
Can I make a payment to my University balance using a portion of the CARES Emergency Assistance Grant?
You can make a payment on your balance at any time. However, please note that the intent of the CARES Act is to provide emergency cash grants to students to cover their emergency personal expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.
Please ensure you have what you need to cover these expenses before using any emergency grant funds to make payment on an outstanding student account balance. UA will not withhold any CARES Act funds to cover balances.
What are my options if I lost my job?
CARES Act funds cannot be used to offset lost income, but can be used to help toward expenses incurred due to that lost income if those expenses were due to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
It is recommended that you contact Student Financial Aid office to discuss the details of your situation. It may be an option to request a Special Circumstance Form to determine if you are eligible for additional federal funds due to a reduction or loss of income.
Whom may I contact with questions?
Contact the following offices weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Financial assistance questions: ZipAssist – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Financial Aid general questions: 1-800-621-3847
- Student Accounts and general payment questions: email@example.com