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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides funds to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One part of this federal program allocates money to higher education institutions to make awards directly to eligible college students who have experienced financial burdens due to COVID-19.

CARES Act funds are limited to students that were enrolled during the Spring 2020 Semester and are eligible, or could be eligible, to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

There are two steps to apply.

  1. Eligible students need to have a completed FAFSA form for either the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year. Visit to promptly complete a FAFSA if you have not already done so. The McNeese FAFSA code is 002017.
  2. Students who are eligible must complete the McNeese CARES Act Fund Online Application. Eligible students will receive guidance and a link to the application through their McNeese email account.

For more information, see our FAQ below:

Who is eligible?
Under the federal rules, not all students are eligible to receive these funds. International students, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students, students that are non-degree seeking, high school students in dual enrollment courses, as well as students already enrolled in fully online degree programs when the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded are not eligible for CARES Act funds. Prospective students not yet attending McNeese are also not eligible for CARES Act funds through McNeese.
How much funding will I receive?
The final award amounts have not yet been determined. Since each student’s situation and needs are different, not all eligible students will necessarily receive the same amount of funds.
How will the funds be distributed?
Using guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, universities are developing a process to verify eligible students. Each institution has been given authority to develop its own unique application and awarding process.
How can I use these funds?
CARES Act funds are designed to assist current students with education-related expenses and challenges directly associated with the more immediate impacts of COVID-19 such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare. Students may also elect to use their funds toward other educational expenses such as current and future tuition and fee payments, textbook expenses and related costs of attendance.
Do I have to be enrolled full-time to qualify for funds?
No, full-time enrollment is not required to qualify for funds.
Does CARES Act money affect my financial aid?
No, CARES Act funds will not affect your financial aid eligibility. While these funds are being administered through the U.S. Department of Education, they are not designated as Title IV financial aid funds (such as PELL grants, loans and College Work Study programs) and will not adversely impact your current or future aid eligibility, based on current guidance provided by the department.
Do I have to pay CARES Act money back?
No. These funds are part of the U.S. federal government response to COVID-19 and do not have to be paid back if awarded to an eligible student.
My friends at other colleges or universities have already received funds, and the amounts they received differ. Why is this?
Every institution is receiving a different allocation of funds based on student enrollment and other factors, and each institution has been given discretion for determining how and when awards are to be made.
Will McNeese use BankMobile to disperse funds?
BankMobile is a vendor McNeese uses to help distribute refunds after financial aid and scholarships are applied to student accounts. McNeese has not yet decided if it will use BankMobile to distribute CARES Act funds, and BankMobile has no relation to the University’s process for determining eligibility.
How will I find out next steps and more information?
Students should closely monitor their McNeese email for updates and instructions.

Resources and Documentation

CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students 30 Day Report