CARES Act Report and Disclosure as of June 5, 2020

Iowa State University acknowledges it signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020, and gives the assurance that Iowa State University intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

1. The total amount of funds Iowa State University received on May 7, 2020, from the U.S. Department of Education for distribution to students is $10,849,429.

2. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 5th, 2020, is $8,728,991.

3. The estimated total number of students at Iowa 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 under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is 25,558.

4. The total number of students who received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 5,916.

5. All students receiving Emergency Financial Aid Grants under section 1800(a)(1) of the CARES Act must meet these criteria:
    • Undergraduate or graduate student enrolled spring semester
    • Eligible for funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965
    • A 2019-20 FAFSA on record with Iowa State University’s Office of Student Financial Aid was required until 5/21/2020 when U.S. Department of Education guidance was changed
    • Not enrolled in a distance only education program at Iowa State University
    • Funding restricted to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19

To be considered for funding, students needed to apply. An on-line application form was posted to the Office of Student Financial Aid website and was advertised to the campus via an e-mail from President Wintersteen on May 1, 2020; through the website itself; and through an announcement in Inside Iowa State. Students were asked to identify the rationale for their request and indicate how much funding was requested for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

To distribute funds as quickly as possible, the following methods were utilized:
  • Eligible students who requested $2,000 or less were funded for the amount of their request via an automated process.
  • Eligible students who requested more than $2,000 were funded for $2,000 and their application was diverted to a “further review” category for review by professional financial aid staff to determine if additional funds could be awarded. The upper limit of the total award allowed was $3,000.
  • Students who did not meet eligibility requirements under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, were placed in a “not reviewed” category. This group was subsequently reviewed for emergency funding from non-CARES Act resources.


CARES Act FAQ


What types of funding are available?
  • Iowa State University has received $10.85 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Iowa State University has also received funding through generous donations to the #CycloneStrong fund, and through our participation in the University Innovation Alliance through support they’ve received from ECMC and Course Hero.

Who is eligible to apply?
  • Any student – undergraduate, graduate, domestic, international, or undocumented – is eligible to apply. You must have been enrolled for Spring 2020 or have registered for classes for Summer 2020. We are not considering applications for Fall 2020 at this time. Each funding source has different criteria, meaning that your application will be matched with a fund for which you would qualify.

What are the criteria to qualify?
  • To qualify for CARES Act funding, students must:
    • Demonstrate a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Have submitted the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who have not filed the 2019-20 FAFSA may do so until June 28, 2020.
    • Have completed the financial aid verification process, if selected.
    • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
    • Have utilized all available sources of financial aid, including federal student loans.

  • To qualify for funds other than CARES Act funds, students must:
    • Demonstrate a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
    • Have utilized all available sources of financial aid, including federal student loans if eligible.

Is there a maximum amount?
  • Please apply for what you need to meet the expenses of your hardship. Because there are multiple sources of funds, we will analyze the best way in which to assist you. We cannot guarantee that we can meet your full request.

Am I guaranteed full funding for my hardship?
  • Many students have experienced hardship and the full impact of the need of all students is unknown. Funds will be distributed as equitably as possible, but we cannot guarantee that you will receive funding for your request.

How will I receive the funds?
  • If you receive funds through the CARES Act, #CycloneStrong, or the UIA, the money will flow through the ISU U-Bill system but it will NOT be applied to any outstanding U-Bill. It will be deposited directly into your personal account at your financial institution of choice as designated in AccessPlus. If you have not set up a direct deposit account, you can do so at AccessPlus >> Account/U-Bill >> Direct Deposit Sign-up. Money typically takes 2-3 business days to appear in your bank account from the date the refund shows on your U-Bill.

How long will it take before I know the status of my application?
  • As the volume of applications that may be received is unknown, providing an exact date is difficult. Every effort will be made to respond within a week regarding the status of your request. You will receive notification via your ISU e-mail address.

Will funds be available beyond spring semester?
  • The first priority is to assist students who have experienced a financial hardship in Spring 2020 or anticipate a hardship for enrollment in Summer 2020 as a result of a disruption in campus activities due to COVID-19. Funding levels will be assessed once spring semester applications have been reviewed to determine future possibilities.

For further information regarding Iowa State University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.