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U.S. DOE provides additional student eligibility requirements for CARES ACT Emergency grants

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After receiving additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, West Virginia University is announcing changes to how the previously announced emergency financial assistance CARES Act grants will be distributed to students. 

Specifically, the Department of Education announced that students must be eligible for Title IV aid to qualify for the CARES Act grants. Additionally, a student is not eligible if they were enrolled in programs that were exclusively online even before COVID-19 closures. 

To determine Title IV aid eligibility, we are now requiring students to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2019-2020 academic in order to be reviewed for eligibility for the emergency assistance. 

Students who have not completed the 2019-2020 FAFSA can still do so by visiting the Federal Student Aid website or downloading the myStudentAid app via the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Information provided on your FAFSA will determine eligibility. In order to be eligible, students must:

  • Have a Social Security number

  • Be an eligible citizen or eligible non-citizen

  • Be registered with Selective Service (if born male)

  • Not be in default on a prior student loan or owe a grant overpayment

  • Not have a state or federal conviction of possessing or selling drugs where the date of the conviction occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving any title IV grant, loan, or work assistance.

  • Be enrolled at least half-time (less than half-time Pell eligible students may still be considered)

  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • Be a regular, degree-seeking student

Additionally, students who received additional assistance from the University and/or a reduction in charges for spring for their residence hall room, dining plan, or University apartment April rent are now eligible to apply for the additional emergency financial assistance grants. Please note that due to limited financial resources and volume of need, some applications may not be approved. Students who withdrew from Spring semester before March 13 are not eligible. 

As previously announced, students that meet the eligibility requirements provided by the U.S. Department of Education may be awarded emergency financial assistance cash grant of up to $750 for the Spring 2020 semester to assist with need due to COVID-19’s disruption to campus. Given recent guidance, the University has made the decision that students who are eligible for the Pell Grant may receive up to $1,000 for the Spring 2020 semester.

Questions about the emergency grants can be directed to If assistance is needed to complete the FAFSA, please submit an online ticket to the Mountaineer Hub or call 304-293-1988.

An updated FAQ is available at

This announcement is based on the latest guidance available from the Department of Education and may not be the final update to how the government requires the University distributes the funds. WVU continues to seek guidance from the federal government and will notify students and families as soon as possible of any further changes.

The CARES Act Emergency Grant application remains open to students who meet the criteria and wish to apply.