Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
  1. Lewis University acknowledges that the institution signed on April 14, 2020 and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement with the assurance that Lewis University will use, 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. 

  2. Lewis University was allocated $1,989,431 for funding of Higher Education Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

  3. Lewis University has distributed $1,695,800 of our CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds as of May 23, 2020

  4. Lewis University estimates that 3,842 students were eligible to receive funding under the CARES Act.

  5. The CARES Act established Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds so that institutions could provide cash grants to students for the disruption to their education due to the coronavirus.  The criteria for the HEERF grant established by the legislature was intended to be awarded to students who are eligible for TITLE IV funding, are not in an online program of study and have experienced an expense related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The committee reviewed these criteria and divided the Lewis University student population into 4 groups; Undergraduate Resident, Undergraduate Commuter, Graduate Resident and Graduate Commuter. Students were removed if they were in an online program of study, withdrew before March 13th, and had not filed a 2019-20 FAFSA.  The committee felt that all eligible students were impacted by the pandemic.

    Committee Members:

    • Janeen Decharinte, Director Financial Aid
    • Dr. Kristi Kelly, Director of Multicultural Student Services, Chief Diversity Officer
    • Mary DeGraw, Associate Provost/Dean of Retention Services
    • Kathy Slattery, Associate Provost/Dean of Student Services
    • Pam Maciulewicz, Bursar
    • Sarah Wiegman, Assistant Dean, SGPCE
    • Toni Fitzpatrick, Director of Academic Services

    Grant Amounts and Rationale

    The committee created the following Grant amounts:

    Resident Undergraduate  $1,000
    Commuter Undergraduate $300
    Resident Graduate $1,000
    Commuter Graduate $300


    Lewis University includes in the Cost of Attendance for students that are living at home with their parent an allowance of 1750 per semester for living expenses.  The 875 expense was calculated per week at 109.375 for the 8 weeks of disruption.  The technology expense was calculated using an average increase cost for internet and technology purchases of 63 per week.  Assuming a family of 4 that cost to the student would be approximately 22 a week.  The commuter expenses of 175 were derived from the inability to participate and use university facilities such as library, computer labs, dining facilities etc. 

    Housing student 1750 109.375 875 Dependent student living with parent for 8 weeks of a Living Allowance
    Technology   15.63 125 Assuming a Family of 4 and a monthly additional cost for Technology of approximately $63
    Commuter   21.87 175 Additional expenses related to a food allowance due to the inability to utilize the dining halls, computer labs and library on campus in between their classes

  6. A total of 2,972 undergraduate students and 737 graduate students have received a HEERF Grant as of May 23, 2020.

  7. The following communication email below was sent to all eligible students. 

    On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act referred to as the CARES Act.  The CARES Act provides emergency assistance in the form of cash grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of their education due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  In order to be eligible for this funding a student must be:

    • Title IV eligible as determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Enrolled in an eligible degree seeking program
    • Registered for classes at the time of the Disaster Declaration 
    • Not enrolled in an online program of study
    Lewis University determined expenses incurred by students related to the disruption of operations and based the amount of grant assistance resulting from residence halls closing, increased technology expenses, and additional costs for food and transportation to return home.  I am writing to inform you that you are receiving a HEERF grant as provided by the CARES Act.  Please access your Student Account on your myLewis portal at to review your HEERF grant.

    If you believe that the amount of expenses you incurred due to the disruption of your education at Lewis University exceeds the amount of your HEERF Grant, you may apply for supplemental funding.   An application will be available for additional funds after May 23, 2020 on the Lewis University COVID webpage.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid Services at
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