USC Aiken received $1,532,706 through the CARES Act to support students who incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
To receive a CARES Act Emergency Grant, students must complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA to demonstrate eligibility for Title IV aid.
Based on additional guidance provided by the US Department of Education as to what populations of students can receive emergency grants, USC Aiken developed the following plan for awarding and disbursing the funds.
Student Populations Excluded from the Distribution:
- Students who did NOT complete a FAFSA
- Students enrolled as Non-degree
- International/DACA Students
- Students enrolled in 100% online programs (Palmetto College, RN to BSN, MBA, MEd)
- Students who withdrew prior to March 16
- Students not making satisfactory academic progress
- Students enrolled less than half-time
All other students were awarded emergency grant amounts based on 1) Pell eligibility and 2) enrollment status:
|Student Population (FAFSA Filers)||Amount|
|Undergrad w/ Pell - 12+ hours||1000|
|Undergrad w/ Pell - 9-11 hours||750|
|Undergrad w/ Pell - <9 hours||500|
|Undergrad no Pell - 12+ hours||500|
|Undergrad no Pell - 9-11 hours||375|
|Undergrad no Pell - <9 hours||250|
|Masters of Science - full-time||300|
Eligible students were awarded a grant entitled CARES Act Fund on Monday, May 4, 2020 and notified by email the same day. To receive the funds, eligible students must access their Self-Service Carolina (SSC) account and manually accept the award.
The deadline for students to accept the award was May 31, 2020.
The message attached to the CARES Act Fund reads as follows:
CARES emergency grant funds are available to eligible students as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. By accepting the CARES Act Fund, you acknowledge that you have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
After acceptance of the award, the funds will be disbursed to the students’ accounts and a refund will be issued regardless if there is an outstanding balance remaining on the account.
A portion of the allocation has been set aside to award emergency grants to students who have not already completed a 2019-2020 FAFSA.
In order to receive funds from the CARES Act, students must have done so before June 15, 2020, and be deemed Title IV eligible according to federal regulations.
In early September 2020, any CARES funding that had been declined or not accepted by awardees in the initial awarding process was reallocated to students who accepted a CARES award and was eligible for a 2019-2020 Federal Pell Grant at the time of the initial award. This additional award was $247 per recipient. The grants must be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). The grants may not fully cover the expenses a student has incurred due to the disruption.