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

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (Effective October 30, 2020)
  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 $1,988,566 of our CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds as of October 1, 2020

  4. Lewis University estimates that 3,858 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
  6. SPRING 2020

    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

    Expenditures

    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 1,750 109.375 875 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

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

  8. The following communication email below was sent to all eligible students.  In addition, the application for HEERF will be placed on our LU COVID-219 webpage, Financial Aid webpage and the LU myLewis Portal.

    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 www.mylewis.lewisu.edu  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 finaid@lewisu.edu.

FALL 2020

  1. On September 1, 2020 the existing students that were awarded a HEERF Grant for Spring semester were reviewed for enrollment for Fall 2020.  The following additional guidelines were put in place to expend the remaining portion of the HEERF Grant allocation.

  2. Guidelines and Awarding
    • Student’s registered for Fall 2020 both graduate and undergraduate
    • Student’s whose EFC regardless of student type made the student Pell eligible
    • Awards were prorated based on full-time or less than full-time
    Expenditures

    An additional HEERF Grant award to undergraduate students who are Pell Grant eligible for technology assistance due to the Hybrid Learning environment for the Fall 2020 semester.  An additional HEERF Grant award to graduate student whose EFC was within the Pell EFC range.

    Technology     An addition of 20 per week for 15 weeks of Technology assistance for Pell Grant eligible students.  A less than full-time student would receive 16.67 per week
    Full-time 20.00 300
    < Full-time 16.67 250


  3. An additional 16 students were identified that met the eligibility criteria for Spring 2021 and those students were awarded according to the Spring 2020 criteria outlined above

  4. The Fall 2020 review resulted in 866 undergraduate students and 98 graduate students that received additional funding in the Fall 2020 semester.

  5. The following communication email below was sent to the eligible students. 

    Dear «FNAME» «LNAME»

    On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act referred to as the CARES Act.  The CARES Act provided 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
    I am writing to inform you that you are receiving an additional HEERF grant as provided by the CARES Act.  Please access your Student Account on your myLewis portal at www.mylewis.lewisu.edu  to review your HEERF grant.

    The Federal Government mandated this money be sent directly to the student.  In order for us to do that, we have to pay the grant to your account and then do a refund to your bank account.  When you review your account you will see the grant credited and then refunded on your Statement of Account.

    The grant money will be Direct Deposited into your bank account within 48 – 72 hours, if you have Direct Deposit set up with TMS. If you do not have Direct Deposit, a paper check will be mailed to the address on file. Paper checks may take 1 – 2 weeks to receive them.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid Services at finaid@lewisu.edu.

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