Enrollment Management

  • CARES Act Funds

    Distribution of Allocated Funds to Eligible Students


    Posted: May 28, 2020

    Worcester State University has been allocated funding through the federal CARES Act. The Act requires that $2,111,417 go directly to students to cover emergency expenses arising from the disruption in campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Worcester State will begin distributing CARES Act funds to eligible students starting the week of June 8th.

    An eligible student is defined as being eligible for Federal Title IV funds (as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – FAFSA) and being an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student (not exclusively in online courses) at the time of disruption in campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    CARES Act Direct Payments

    Worcester State will distribute approximately 90% of the allocation directly to eligible students based on the number of credit hours a student took in the Spring 2020 semester. Distribution of student payments will follow a tiered process:

    Tier Credit Hours Distribution
    Tier 1 12+ credit hours $550.00
    Tier 2 6 up to 11.99 credit hours $300.00
    Tier 3 0.1 up to 5.99 credit hours $150.00

    Eligible students will receive payments through direct deposit. Students not yet enrolled in direct deposit should log in to WebAdvisor and follow the direct deposit instructions under the Financial Information header. Students who are not able to enroll in direct deposit, will receive a paper check at the student’s last known address.

    CARES Act Supplemental Funds

    Worcester State has reserved approximately 10% of the available CARES Act funding for supplemental emergency payments for students with additional critical financial needs as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Eligible students with additional financial need may apply for CARES Act Supplemental Funds. Any supplemental funding approved are in addition to automatic payments as noted above.

    To be considered for these funds, students must apply for CARES Act Supplemental Funds to document that they have incurred an expense as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic and meet other eligibility criteria. Current expenses could relate to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses, among others. Students will be asked to attach supporting documentation to their application, except for food expenses. CARES Act Supplemental Fund awards will be made until the funds are exhausted or April 27, 2021, whichever comes first.

    For students enrolled in Spring 2020, students must meet eligibility criteria including:

    • Undergraduate or graduate student in Spring 2020
    • Enrolled in any number of Spring 2020 credits on 3/17/20 (the date of the start of the campus disruption due to COVID-19.
    • Not enrolled exclusively in online courses.
    • Title IV eligible (as determined by a submitted and processed 2019-2020 FAFSA). 2019-2020 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) must be submitted via fafsa.gov by June 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm ET.
    • Submit an approved CARES Act Supplemental Fund Application

    For students enrolled in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Intersession 2021, or Spring 2021, students must meet eligibility criteria including:

    • Undergraduate or graduate student in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Intersession 2021, or Spring 2021
    • Enrolled in any number of credits in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Intersession 2021, or Spring 2021
    • Not enrolled exclusively in online courses.
    • Title IV eligible (as determined by a submitted and processed 2019-2020 FAFSA). 2020-2021 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) must be submitted via www.fafsa.gov by April 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET.
    • Were disrupted by campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Submit an approved CARES Act Supplemental Fund Application
  • CARES Act Funds Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the CARES Act?

    The CARES Act is a recently signed Federal law that offers broad relief for disruptions due to COVID-19. Part of the CARES Act provided funding to colleges and universities to provide grant aid to students.

     

    What are the CARES Act funds for?

    These funds are provided to students who have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses, among others. For example, a student may have to acquire internet at home or purchase a laptop to participate in remote coursework. Students will be asked about their expenses when they complete the online application.

     

    Who is eligible for CARES Act funds?

    The CARES Act emergency student aid is available to graduate and undergraduate students. Students must be eligible for Federal Title IV funds (as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – FAFSA) and being an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student (not exclusively in online courses) at the time of disruption in campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    All students who will be enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year should complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. Students who graduated in the spring or summer of 2020 should complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA. To be considered for CARES Act Supplemental Funds, students should complete the CARES Act Supplemental Fund application.

    Students who have a need for emergency financial support and are not eligible to complete a FAFSA (i.e., DACA, international students) or are not otherwise eligible for CARES Act funding (not Title IV financial aid eligible) are encouraged to complete the separate Worcester State Student Emergency Fund application at so that we can assess your eligibility for institutionally funded assistance to help meet your needs.

    How do I apply for CARES Act Supplemental Funds?

    Students can apply for CARES Act Supplemental Funds by completing a short online application. Students who are eligible for CARES Act Direct Payments do not need to apply to receive these funds; rather CARES Act Direct Payment funds will sent to eligible students.

     

    What if I am not eligible for Title IV financial aid?

    Students who have a need for emergency financial support and are not eligible to complete a FAFSA (i.e., DACA, international students) or are not otherwise eligible for CARES Act funding (not Title IV financial aid eligible) are encouraged to complete the separate Worcester State Student Emergency Fund application so that we can assess your eligibility for institutionally funded assistance to help meet your needs.

     

    How do I complete a FAFSA?

    Students can complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. All students who will be enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year should complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. Students who graduated in the spring or summer of 2020 should complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA.

     

    Are there deadlines to apply for CARES Act funds?

    CARES Act funds will be awarded to eligible students until the fund is depleted. All students who are eligible and who will be enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year should complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA and CARES Act supplemental fund application as soon as possible. Students who are eligible and graduated in the spring or summer of 2020 are encouraged to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA by June 15, 2020.

     

    How much can students expect to receive?

    Awards will range up to $2,000 per student, depending on a student specific review of needs.

     

    How will I know if I am approved?

    Students should anticipate being notified via their Worcester State email about the status of their application and next steps within 72 hours of submitting the application.

     

    How will I receive the funds?

    Eligible students will receive payments through direct deposit. Students not yet enrolled in direct deposit should log in to WebAdvisor and follow the direct deposit instructions under the Financial Information header. Students who are not able to enroll in direct deposit, will receive a paper check at the student’s last known address.

     

    What if I have emergency expenses and the application is closed?

    Students who have a need for emergency financial support and are not able to apply, are not eligible to complete a FAFSA (i.e., DACA, international students), or are not otherwise eligible for CARES Act funding (not Title IV financial aid eligible) are encouraged to complete the separate Worcester State Student Emergency Fund application so that we can assess your eligibility for institutionally funded assistance to help meet your needs.

     

    Who do I contact with any questions?

    If you have any questions about the CARES Act Supplemental Funds application or process to be considered, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 508-929-8077 or visit the office located on the 3rd floor of the Student Center, Suite 344 (if the campus is open for in-person visits). If you have generic questions about the CARES Act, please contact Vice President for Enrollment, Ryan G. Forsythe, at 508-929-8497.

     

    Do I need to pay back CARES Act funds?

    No, the CARES Act student emergency aid is a grant. This means the funds do not need to be repaid.

     

    Why do I need to complete an application?

    Worcester State University determined that a CARES Act Supplemental Funds application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were the best methods for determining that students met the Federal regulations to be eligible for CARES Act funds.

     

  • Cares Act Funding and Distribution Report: Student Financial Aid

    Worcester State University
    30 Day Report
    Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education
    Award #: P425E203852
    Award Amount: $2,111,417.00
    Report Date: 6/3/2020

    Request #1:

    An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

    Response #1:

    Worcester State University has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement, and intends to use no less that 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Please refer to PDF, ‘Worcester State University Certification and Agreement’, below:

    PDF icon Worcester State University Certification and Agreement

    Request #2:

    The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

    Response #2:

    Worcester State University is eligible to receive $2,111,417.00 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certificate and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

    Request #3:

    The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

    Response #3:

    Worcester State University will distribute $1,896,300.00 beginning the week of 6/8/2020.

    Request #4:

    The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

    Response #4:

    The estimated total number of students at Worcester State University eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is 3,815.

    Request #5:

    The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

    Response #5:

    3,755 students are scheduled to receive an Emergency Financial Aid Grant, beginning the week of 6/8/2020.

    A total of 60 students were deemed ineligible as they withdrew prior to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, or they were enrolled exclusively in online courses.

    Request #6:

    The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

    Response #6:

    Worcester State University separated the response into two parts: 1.) Eligibility determination, and 2.) Distribution methodology.

    1. Eligibility determination: Worcester State University requires that students meet three eligibility requirements:
      1. Student must be eligible for Federal Title IV funds;
      2. Student must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at the time of disruption in campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic; and
      3. Student is not enrolled in exclusively in online courses.
       
    2. Distribution Methodology:
      1. Starting the week of 6/8/2020, Worcester State University will distribute approximately 90% ($1,896,300.00) of the allocation directly to eligible students based on the number of credit hours a student took in the Spring, 2020 semester. Please refer to PDF, ‘Distribution Tiers’, below.
      2. Approximately 10% ($215,117.00) was retained for supplemental emergency payments for students with additional critical financial needs as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Students with additional critical financial need may apply for supplemental emergency payments, however, they must meet the same eligibility requirements outlined in 1A -1C, above.
       

    PDF icon Distribution Tiers

    Request #7:

    Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

    Response: #7:

    Worcester State University communicated instructions, directions and guidance directly to students via individualized emails. Please refer to PDF, ‘Student Communication Example’, below:

    PDF icon Student Communication Example

    Additionally, Worcester State University created a webpage: (https://www.worcester.edu/CARES-Act/) dedicated to providing students instructions, directions, guidance and contact information concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

    Lastly, on behalf of all members of the Worcester State University community, we wish to thank all those involved in helping to support our students.