Students walk by the Student Union on the UA campus

2022 HEERF III Emergency Assistance Grants

February 2022

The University of Akron will soon disburse emergency assistance grants to enrolled spring 2022 students. Funded through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF), authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, these funds are intended to help students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University’s administration has been hard at work enhancing the distribution process for students. This message serves to provide you with additional details about the distribution of funds for UA students currently enrolled and attending courses.

Consistent with past semesters, the funds will be distributed in two ways: (1) automatic disbursements to Pell-eligible students and (2) through an application process for non-Pell-eligible students. In accordance with the federal funding standards, all currently enrolled students are eligible, including undergraduate, graduate, international and law students.

We understand the continued hardships faced by many in our community. We are pleased to announce that the grants have been increased for this semester.

  • Pell-eligible students should expect to receive an automatic $1,500 disbursement.
  • Non-Pell-eligible students can apply to receive $1,200 through the application process.

These funds can be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care or childcare.

Beginning on Monday, Feb. 28, the University will begin processing automatic disbursements for enrolled spring 2022 Pell-eligible students. Students meeting the criteria for the automatic disbursement will receive a direct email from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

An application for all currently enrolled non-Pell-eligible students will open on Tuesday, March 1. This application will close on Friday, April 1, at 11:59 p.m.

FAQ

Who is eligible for these funds?

According to federal regulations, any student who has experienced an exceptional financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus and meet the prescribed requirements, are eligible for HEERF III funds. Currently, the University is focusing support efforts for those enrolled in Spring 2022 courses.

“I don’t think I’m eligible for these funds, what options are available to me?”

Emergency assistance options may be available to you through the Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program.

To learn more, start by completing the Help-A-Zip referral form - select “emergency assistance.”

What can the funds be used for?

It is important that you provide a detailed account of how you have been affected financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can request grant funds to help toward emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, including:

  • University tuition balance: may include applying requested funds toward an outstanding University of Akron balance—requires expressed written consent within the application.
  • Food expenses may include unexpected grocery expenses for increased grocery expenses or a student supporting dependent children now home due to their school or childcare closure.
  • Course materials may include but not limited to general use supplies such as writing utensils and notebooks; course specific supplies such as calculators, lab equipment, rental of musical equipment, paint brushes, and canvases unexpectedly required to be purchased due to campus disruption of regular operations.
  • Technology expenses may include computer equipment, internet access expenses, printer supplies, etc. required for student success when transitioning to an online format from the traditional in-person class structure.
  • Healthcare expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual medical expenses due to Coronavirus or its effects, including mental health.
  • Child care/dependent care expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual care expenses for a student’s child or other dependents in the independent (based on FAFSA) student’s household.
  • Transportation expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual travel expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. This may include additional trips to the University to retrieve personal belongings or difficulty in making car payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.
  • Housing expenses may include unanticipated expenses in securing housing and/or rent for residential students after the closure of campus housing in March. This may also include difficulty in making rent or mortgage payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.

You must document exceptional financial need within the application.

When should I apply by?

Non-Pell eligible students are encouraged to apply for a HEERF III emergency assistance grant before the application deadline, 11:59 p.m. on April 1. Funds are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.

If you are a Pell-eligible student, no application is needed, as you will receive an automatic $1,500 disbursement. These disbursements will be authorized beginning on Feb. 28. If, as a Pell-eligible student you have continued, unmet needs which qualify for HEERF III emergency assistance funds, please see the following section: I am a Pell student, am I eligible to apply through the application?

How does the application process work?

Upon receipt of your application, information regarding enrollment will be reviewed by a team of UA staff. After the application decision has been made, the student will receive an email notification, to their UA email account, indicating the status of the application. Based on the volume of applications, it may take two business days to receive a message regarding the status of your application.

For students seeking tuition assistance:

  1. If, at the time of application review, your account no longer has a balance, the award will not be authorized to your account. Instead, you will be issued payment directly.
  2. If you have a balance on your account, which is less than you requested, the emergency grant will be applied to your tuition balance to address this need. The overage will be issued to you directly.
  3. In the event you have a balance on your account that exceeds the request, the requested amount will be applied to the account to help minimize the balance.

Please direct questions to uazipassist@uakron.edu.

May I apply more than once?

The maximum award is $1,200. We encourage you to submit one comprehensive application explaining in detail your exceptional need and financial request.

The application is locked to one submission per UANet ID. In the event you are asked to resubmit, you will need to receive an individual code.

If you submit your application in error and need to revise, please email uazipassist@uakron.edu.

I am a Pell student, am I eligible to apply through the application?

The University authorized an automatic disbursement of funds to spring 2022 Pell-eligible students (as of Feb. 25) the week of Feb. 28.

The University offers the Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program. To meet with a ZipAssist team member and discuss possible support, please complete the Help-A-Zip referral form.

How long will it take for me to receive the funds?

The committee will review applications on an ongoing basis and make decisions as quickly as possible.

Facilitating the payment through the University may take up to five business days after approval. Checks will come U.S. Postal Service mail and may take up to 10 days to receive once issued. To expediate the payment process, we recommend enrolling into the Direct Deposit option available to you in the My Akron – Student Center.

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?

HEERF III 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. To expediate the payment process, we recommend enrolling into the Direct Deposit option available to you in the My Akron – Student Center. If this is your preferred method of receiving assistance, please ensure your direct deposit is set-up at least 24 hours in advance of applying for a HEERF III emergency assistance grant.

Could these funds be deemed taxable by the IRS?

We recommend you visit the IRS webpage for up-to-date information regarding if these funds have been deemed taxable.

Can HEERF III Emergency Assistance Grant funds be applied to my University balance or account?

Yes, this round of federal funding does permit the University to apply emergency assistance funds to an outstanding University balance, if written and clear approval has been given.

Within the application is a checkbox that reads “University Tuition Balance.” By selecting this box, you will be asked to provide explicit and clear approval for the University to apply the requested funds to your student account balance.

Any remaining funds requested and approved (above the outstanding balance of tuition/fees from Fall 2021) will be reimbursed to you at the mailing address listed within this application.

Can I make a payment to my University balance using a portion of the HEERF III Emergency Assistance Grant?

You can make a payment on your balance at any time.

What are my options if I lost my job?

HEERF III funds cannot be used to offset lost income but can be used to help toward expenses incurred due to that lost income.

It is recommended that you contact the Office of Student Financial Aid 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.

What other options are available if I’m experiencing a financial hardship?

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.

Whom may I contact with questions?

Contact the following offices weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2021 HEERF III Emergency Assistance Grants

September 2021

 No more funding is available. It has been fully distributed to students.

To date, The University of Akron has distributed more than $14 million in federal funding to support our students. Starting on Sept. 20, the University will begin processing emergency grant requests for students who are currently enrolled for fall 2021.

As in past semesters, these funds will primarily be distributed in two ways to our campus.

  • Students who received a Federal Pell Grant disbursement in fall 2021 (as of Sept. 10) will receive a one-time grant of $1,200 with no application required. Disbursements will be authorized beginning on Sept. 20. Students meeting the criteria for the automatic disbursement will receive a direct email from the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • Non-Pell eligible students, enrolled for the fall 2021 semester, are invited to apply for an emergency grant (maximum $1,000). These funds can be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or childcare. Students can also designate funding to help offset a current tuition balance. The application will be made available on Sept. 20 and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on October 31.

Eligibility

According to federal regulations, domestic students enrolled in Fall 2021, who have experienced an exceptional financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus and meet the prescribed requirements, are eligible for HEERF III funds. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances. Institutions are expected to establish a transparent process for assessing need. Beyond Pell eligibility, other ways of prioritizing exceptional need could include students who may be eligible for other federal or state need-based aid or have faced significant unexpected expenses, such as the loss of employment, reduced income, or food or housing insecurity.

As announced in the Department OF Education’s final rule, “Eligibility To Receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Under HEERF” (May 14, 2021, 86 FR 26608) (final rule), the term “student,” for purposes of the phrases “grants to students,” “emergency financial aid grants to students,” and “financial aid grants to students” as used in the HEERF programs, is now defined as any individual who is or was enrolled (as defined in 34 CFR § 668.2) at an eligible institution. Unlike HEERF I or HEERF II limitations, undocumented and international students may receive HEERF III funds.

The University is focusing current HEERF III emergency grant efforts to support those students enrolled in Fall 2021 courses, and who meet the eligibility requirements outlined here.

FAQ

Who is eligible for these funds?

According to federal regulations, any student who has experienced an exceptional financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus and meet the prescribed requirements, are eligible for HEERF III funds. Currently, the University is focusing support efforts for those enrolled in Fall 2021 courses.

Pell-eligible students received an automatic disbursement of $1,200 beginning on Sept. 20. In the event you are a Pell-eligible student and have a continued financial hardship, please review the FAQ section for information concerning additional grant opportunities.

“I don’t think I’m eligible for these funds, what options are available to me?”

Emergency assistance options may be available to you through the Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program.

To learn more, start by completing the Help-A-Zip referral form - select “emergency assistance.”

What can the funds be used for?

It is important that you provide a detailed account of how you have been affected financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can request grant funds to help toward emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, including:

  • University tuition balance: may include applying requested funds toward an outstanding University of Akron balance—requires expressed written consent within the application.
  • Food expenses may include unexpected grocery expenses for increased grocery expenses or a student supporting dependent children now home due to their school or childcare closure.
  • Course materials may include but not limited to general use supplies such as writing utensils and notebooks; course specific supplies such as calculators, lab equipment, rental of musical equipment, paint brushes, and canvases unexpectedly required to be purchased due to campus disruption of regular operations.
  • Technology expenses may include computer equipment, internet access expenses, printer supplies, etc. required for student success when transitioning to an online format from the traditional in-person class structure.
  • Healthcare expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual medical expenses due to Coronavirus or its effects, including mental health.
  • Child care/dependent care expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual care expenses for a student’s child or other dependents in the independent (based on FAFSA) student’s household.
  • Transportation expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual travel expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. This may include additional trips to the University to retrieve personal belongings or difficulty in making car payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.
  • Housing expenses may include unanticipated expenses in securing housing and/or rent for residential students after the closure of campus housing in March. This may also include difficulty in making rent or mortgage payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.

You must document exceptional financial need within the application.

When should I apply by?

Non-Pell eligible students are encouraged to apply for a HEERF III emergency assistance grant before the application deadline, 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31.

If you are a Pell-eligible student, no application is needed, as you will receive an automatic $1,200 disbursement. These disbursements will be authorized beginning on Sept. 20. If, as a Pell-eligible student you have continued, unmet needs which qualify for HEERF III emergency assistance funds, please see the following section: I am a Pell student, am I eligible to apply through the application?

How does the application process work?

Upon receipt of your application, information regarding enrollment will be reviewed by a team of UA staff. After the application decision has been made, the student will receive an email notification, to their UA email account, indicating the status of the application. Based on the volume of applications, it may take two business days to receive a message regarding the status of your application.

For students seeking tuition assistance:

  1. If, at the time of application review, your account no longer has a balance, the award will not be authorized to your account. Instead, you will be issued payment directly.
  2. If you have a balance on your account, which is less than you requested, the emergency grant will be applied to your tuition balance to address this need. The overage will be issued to you directly.
  3. In the event you have a balance on your account that exceeds the request, the requested amount will be applied to the account to help minimize the balance.

Pell-eligible students in need of additional financial assistance (example: tuition assistance, housing, food, etc.) can complete the application beginning on Oct. 21 at 12:01 a.m. Any applications received before this time (submitted by a Pell-eligible student), will not be approved.

Please direct questions to uazipassist@uakron.edu.

May I apply more than once?

The maximum award is $1,000. We encourage you to submit one comprehensive application explaining in detail your exceptional need and financial request.

The application is locked to one submission per UANet ID. In the event you are asked to resubmit, you will need to receive an individual code.

If you submit your application in error and need to revise, please email uazipassist@uakron.edu.

I am a Pell student, am I eligible to apply through the application?

The University authorized an automatic disbursement of funds to fall 2021 Pell-eligible students (as of Sept. 10) the week of Sept. 20.

If, as a Pell-eligible student, you have an extenuating financial need outside of the $1,200 automatic disbursement authorized on Sept. 20, you may apply through this application beginning on Oct. 21. You must document exceptional financial need.

The University offers the Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program. To meet with a ZipAssist team member and discuss possible support, please complete the Help-A-Zip referral form.

How long will it take for me to receive the funds?

The committee will review applications on an ongoing basis and make decisions as quickly as possible.

Facilitating the payment through the University may take up to five business days after approval. Checks will come U.S. Postal Service mail and may take up to 10 days to receive once issued. To expediate the payment process, we recommend enrolling into the Direct Deposit option available to you in the My Akron – Student Center.

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?

HEERF III 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. To expediate the payment process, we recommend enrolling into the Direct Deposit option available to you in the My Akron – Student Center. If this is your preferred method of receiving assistance, please ensure your direct deposit is set-up at least 24 hours in advance of applying for a HEERF III emergency assistance grant.

Could these funds be deemed taxable by the IRS?

We recommend you visit the IRS webpage for up-to-date information regarding if these funds have been deemed taxable.

Can HEERF III Emergency Assistance Grant funds be applied to my University balance or account?

Yes, this round of federal funding does permit the University to apply emergency assistance funds to an outstanding University balance, if written and clear approval has been given.

Within the application is a checkbox that reads “University Tuition Balance.” By selecting this box, you will be asked to provide explicit and clear approval for the University to apply the requested funds to your student account balance.

Any remaining funds requested and approved (above the outstanding balance of tuition/fees from Fall 2021) will be reimbursed to you at the mailing address listed within this application.

Can I make a payment to my University balance using a portion of the HEERF III Emergency Assistance Grant?

You can make a payment on your balance at any time.

What are my options if I lost my job?

HEERF III funds cannot be used to offset lost income but can be used to help toward expenses incurred due to that lost income.

It is recommended that you contact the Office of Student Financial Aid 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.

What other options are available if I’m experiencing a financial hardship?

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.

Whom may I contact with questions?

Contact the following offices weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2021 HEERF II Emergency Assistance Grants

February 2021

March 12, 2021

 No more funding is available. It has been fully distributed to students. However, other options are available.

Today, The University of Akron announces that federal funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF) authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act 2021, has been received.

On Feb. 16, the campus community was notified for the two ways in which students could access funds.

  • Students who received a Federal Pell Grant disbursement will receive a one-time $1,200 grant with no application required. Students meeting the criteria for the automatic disbursement will receive a direct email from the Office of Student Financial Aid the week of February 15.
  • In addition to current emergency aid programs at The University of Akron, the HEERF II Emergency Assistance Grant application process has been created and can be found lower on this page.

The University has a variety of support programs in place, if you are seeking additional assistance. Please use the Help-A-Zip referral form.  We commend you on your resiliency and determination. Please know that your administration, faculty and staff are here to assist you. Remember, Zips Rise Together.

Eligibility

According to federal regulations, domestic students enrolled in Spring 2021, who have experienced an exceptional financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus and meet the prescribed requirements, are eligible for HEERF II funds.

Unlike the CARES Act (HEERF I), enrolled students do not have to be Title IV-eligible students to receive HEERF II funds. That is, the June 17, 2020 Interim Final Rule and Title IV general student eligibility criteria under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) [20 USC 1091(a)] do not apply when awarding HEERF II funds.

However, the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) current interpretation remains that undocumented, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and international students are not eligible for HEERF II funds under 8 USC 1611(a) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (1996 welfare reform law), which prohibits these students from receiving federal public benefits. Should this guidance change at any time, this site will be updated to reflect those changes.

FAQ

Who is eligible for these funds? 

According to federal regulations, domestic students enrolled in Spring 2021, who have experienced an exceptional financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus and meet the prescribed requirements, are eligible for HEERF II funds. 

Pell-eligible students received an automatic disbursement of $1,200.  In the event you are a Pell student and have a continued financial hardship, please review the FAQ section for information concerning additional grant opportunities.

“I don’t think I’m eligible for these funds, what options are available to me?”

If you are an international, DACA, undocumented or College-Credit Plus student, emergency assistance options may be available to you through the Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program. 

To learn more, start by completing the Help-A-Zip referral form - select “emergency assistance.”

What can the funds be used for?

It is important that you provide a detailed account of how you have been affected financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can request grant funds to help toward emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, including:

  • Food expenses may include unexpected grocery expenses for increased grocery expenses or a student supporting dependent children now home due to their school or childcare closure.
  • Course materials may include but not limited to general use supplies such as writing utensils and notebooks; course specific supplies such as calculators, lab equipment, rental of musical equipment, paint brushes, and canvases unexpectedly required to be purchased due to campus disruption of regular operations.
  • Technology expenses may include computer equipment, internet access expenses, printer supplies, etc. required for student success when transitioning to an online format from the traditional in-person class structure.
  • Healthcare expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual medical expenses due to Coronavirus or its effects, including mental health.
  • Child care/dependent care expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual care expenses for a student’s child or other dependents in the independent (based on FAFSA) student’s household.
  • Transportation expenses may include the cost of unanticipated or unusual travel expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. This may include additional trips to the University to retrieve personal belongings or difficulty in making car payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.
  • Housing expenses may include unanticipated expenses in securing housing and/or rent for residential students after the closure of campus housing in March. This may also include difficulty in making rent or mortgage payments due to income loss from this economic disruption.
  • University tuition balance: may include applying requested funds towards an outstanding University of Akron balance - requires expressed written consent within the application.

You must document exceptional financial need within the application.

Can I apply more than once?

The maximum award is $1,000.  We encourage you to submit one comprehensive application explaining in detail your exceptional need and financial request.

The application is locked to one submission per UANet ID.  In the event you are asked to resubmit, you will need to receive an individual code.  

If you submit your application in error and need to revise, please email uazipassist@uakron.edu.

I am a Pell student, am I eligible to apply through the application?

The University authorized an automatic disbursement of funds to spring 2021 Pell-eligible students the week of Feb. 15.

If, as a Pell-eligible student, you have an extenuating financial need outside of the $1,200 automatic disbursement authorized on Feb. 17, you may apply through this application beginning on March 22. You must document exceptional financial need.

The University offers the Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program.  To meet with a ZipAssist team member and discuss possible support, please complete the Help-A-Zip referral form.

How long will it take for me to receive the funds?

The committee will review applications on an ongoing basis and make decisions as quickly as possible.

Facilitating the payment through the University may take up to five business days after approval. Checks will come U.S. Postal Service mail and may take up to 10 days to receive once issued.

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?

HEERF II 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. Please ensure you include your most recent address on the application.

Could these funds be deemed taxable by the IRS?

We recommend you visit the IRS webpage for up-to-date information regarding if these funds have been deemed taxable.

Can HEERF II Emergency Assistance Grant funds be applied to my University balance or account?

Yes, this round of federal funding does permit the University to apply emergency assistance funds to an outstanding University balance, if written and clear approval has been given.

Within the application is a checkbox that reads “University Tuition Balance.” By selecting this box, you will be asked to provide explicit and clear approval for the University to apply the requested funds to your student account balance.

Any remaining funds requested and approved (above the outstanding balance of tuition/fees from Spring 2021) will be reimbursed to you at the mailing address listed within this application.

Can I make a payment to my University balance using a portion of the HEERF II Emergency Assistance Grant?

You can make a payment on your balance at any time.

What are my options if I lost my job?

HEERF II funds cannot be used to offset lost income but can be used to help toward expenses incurred due to that lost income.

It is recommended that you contact the Office of Student Financial Aid 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.

What other options are available if I’m experiencing a financial hardship?

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.

Whom may I contact with questions?

Contact the following offices weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2020 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.

FAQ

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.

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