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CARES Act

Information and Updates

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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 https://www.fafsa.gov 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.

Distribution of Funds

McNeese will distribute 65 percent of the available funds to eligible students that met the May 22 deadline starting May 29, 2020.

Eligible students that did not complete an application will receive additional notifications on how to apply for the CARES Act funds. A second disbursement will be issued later this summer.

Eligible students were notified on May 8, 2020 to complete a brief application by May 22 to receive CARES Act funds.

CARES Act Disbursement Letter

CARES Act Award Chart

What was your enrollment status as of March 5, 2020In how many undergraduate hours were you enrolled?orIn how many graduate hours were you enrolled?Did you receive PELL Grant? If so, your CARES Act award is:Did you not receive PELL Grant? If so, your CARES Act award is:
Full Time12 or more9 or more$950$750
Three Quarter Time9 – 116.75 – 8$650$500
Half Time6 – 84.5 – 6.74$475$375
Less Than Half Time1 – 51 – 4.49$250$200
Spring 2020 Enrollment Status as of March 5, 2020

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?
Funding is based on several factors, including enrollment status as of March 5, 2020 and whether you received PELL Grant in Spring 2020. Please see the above table for more information on funding amounts.
How will the funds be distributed?

Bank Mobile is a vendor McNeese uses to help distribute refunds after financial aid and scholarships are applied to student accounts. While CARES Act funds are not considered financial aid, McNeese will also use Bank Mobile to distribute CARES Act funds.

To ensure you receive funds quickly, please verify you have selected a payment preference with Bank Mobile. To set up a payment preference:

1) If you have never selected a refund preference, log into your MyMcNeese portal, then click on “REFUND SETUP (Bank Mobile)” under the Quick Links section on the homepage. You can opt to have your funds deposited to your Bank Mobile account (1-2 days), your personal checking account (2-7 days), or mailed to you via paper check (up to 21 days).

2) If you have previously set up a refund preference and need to update your information, log into your Bank Mobile account at https://mcneesechoicecard.vibeaccount.com/. If you need assistance with log in information, contact Bank Mobile Customer Care at 1-877-327-9515.

3) If you have previously set up a refund preference and no update is needed, no action is required. If no refund preference is selected, you will be issued a paper check.

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, you do not have to be enrolled full-time to qualify for funds, though your enrollment status as of March 5, 2020 does affect the award amount. Please see the table above for more information.
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 received different amounts in CARES Act funds. 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.
Who should I contact if I have a question about my refund?
If you have any questions that are not answered here, please email caresact@mcneese.edu

Resources and Documentation

CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students 45 Day Report

For Emergencies

Useful Links

To view or change phone numbers and alternative email addresses in the McNeese Alert System, go to the MyMcNeese Portal and click on the “Self Service Banner” tab at the top then click on “Personal Information.”