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Student Success

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Bouillon Room 204
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: 509-963-1515


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The application for summer aid is now CLOSED as all summer 2020 CARES act funds are depleted. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant at Central Washington University provides emergency financial assistance to eligible students who are experiencing hardship that could adversely affect their educational success. 

  • CWU's CARES Emergency Student Funds executed agreement and assurance that it will use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)91) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students (link to agreement) 
  • CWU’s CARES Emergency Student funds award amount - $3,847,692 
  • CWU’s CARES Emergency Student funds awarded as of 7/30/20 - $2,152,310
  • Estimated total number of current CWU students eligible to participate in Emergency Student Funds program – 7,800 
  • Total number of students receiving an Emergency Student Funds award as of 7/30/20 - 1,303

The main criteria for a grant are the demonstration of a genuine need and that the capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. Circumstances of Need must be: COVID-related, Emergency and Temporary in Nature for applicants to be considered for assistance. Documentation and detailed responses to questions are expected and, in some cases, may be required to result in approval of some, if not all, of the application amount requested. 

Students who plan to submit an application for a CARES HEERF Grant should contact the Office of Student Success for guidance on the application process. Please note that all requests for information will remain confidential.  

Eligibility requirements for a CARES HEERF grant: 

  • Students must be registered at CWU for the current quarter 
  • Students must be matriculated 
  • Students must have a record of good conduct 
  • Students must have a current emergency need 
  • Students must demonstrate an ability and intention to complete their course of study 
  • Only students residing in the United States are eligible to apply for the CARES HEERF Grant 
  • Students must currently be eligible for Federal Title IV Financial Aid (have a current 2019-2020 FAFSA on file) 
  • Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and must NOT have a current Financial Aid Suspension 
  • Expense must be incurred subsequent to March 13, 2020

International, undocumented, and students enrolled in an exclusively online program prior to March 13, 2020 are, unfortunately, not eligible for CAREs Act monies at this time.  We are actively monitoring decisions by the Department of Education for changes to these rulings.  Students are still encouraged to submit an application in the event that rulings change, or additional non-CAREs monies become available. 

Examples of emergencies include, but are not limited to: 

  • Expense related to transition to remote learning. 
  • Additional housing expenses for extended quarters. 
  • Unexpected expenses due to illness or death in the immediate family specifically related to COVID-19. 
  • Additional tuition or fees. Please note that students must have a previously arranged tuition payment plan in place for Spring 2020. Students must have proven documentation of loss of income or unexpected financial challenges specific to COVID-19. 
  • Other (you will be asked to provide a detailed explanation of your emergency). 

The CARES HEERF Grant cannot be used for: 

  • Previous educational debts 
  • Textbooks 
  • Credit card debts or loan payments 
  • Legal representation or services 

Summer awards are up to $1,000.00 and are subject to supporting documentation. This amount has been adjusted from previous quarters to reflect the current availability of CARES Act funds. The final award amount will be based on need as described in the student’s application and as supported by the appropriate documentation. 

As the grant draws on a limited pool of funds, CWU cannot guarantee the availability of funds for assistance. 

How to apply for the CARES HEERF grant: 

The application for summer aid is now CLOSED as all summer 2020 CARES act funds are depleted. 

Applications are available online (link to application) and include: 

  • A statement explaining your emergency and how the current situation is affecting your studies. 
  • What the requested funds will be used for. You will be asked to itemize each cost and provide supporting documentation for each item. 
  • What you have done and what you are planning to do in order to resolve your crisis and stay enrolled in School. 

To receive verification of your application having been submitted, it is important to REQUEST THAT A COPY/CONFIRMATION of the application be SENT TO YOUR EMAIL. Because this option is provided at the completion of the application, contacts to Student Success to request confirmation of submitted applications will not receive a response. 

Prior to submitting applications, students should check the above qualifications to establish their likelihood of being eligible for CARES funds. If students are not eligible for CARES Act Funds based on the federally established criteria, they are still welcome to submit an application, however at this time there is a lengthy wait list of approved applications for non-CARES funds that cannot be awarded due to CWU-specific emergency funds being exhausted following the high number of Spring 2020 applications for assistance. While it is hoped that CWU emergency funds will be replenished to some extent through the generosity of donors and other renewable resources, the estimated amount of funds is unlikely to meet all needs of those on the waitlist from Spring 2020. Students ineligible for CARES Act funds can apply for Summer 2020 assistance but should not anticipate funding in a timely manner or in the amount requested, if able to be addressed at all. 

All first-time CARES applicants will be considered prior to secondary/follow up applications from previously awarded Spring & Summer 2020 students; any 2nd or subsequent applications will not be reviewed for consideration until after all first-time applications have been reviewed and sufficient information is available to approve the request.  

Eligibility for CARES Act funds must be established by the student’s application and verified by CWU team reviewers/records prior to any application decisions; this may result in wait times of several weeks between date of submission and date of notification.  

PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL Student Success to inquire about the status your application as this will slow down the committee’s review process. 

Upon review of the student’s eligibility, complete applications will be reviewed by the CARES committee and Student Financial Aid and a determination will be made. Decisions are final. If approved, the grant will be disbursed to the student within 5 - 7 business days of the approval date. 


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