Application Opens for Additional CARES Act Emergency Funding

Students enrolled for Fall 2020 can now apply for additional CARES Act funding.
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Students enrolled for Fall 2020 can now apply for additional CARES Act funding.

This spring the University of Arkansas distributed $7.4 million in CARES Act emergency grants to eligible students for costs incurred as a result of COVID-19. Approximately $300,000 of those funds remain and will be distributed to students through a new application process on a first-applied, first-served basis.

"The pandemic continues to hit our students hard," Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz said. "These additional funds can help students who were enrolled last spring and are continuing this fall and who are still struggling financially. We want to help."


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and provided money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants for students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

"The Office of Financial Aid and Academic Scholarships is here to support students with this application and with all of their financial aid needs and questions," said Phillip Blevins, director of financial aid and academic scholarships. "Eligible students should apply for this grant.  We do not want any available funds to go unused."


All undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled exclusively in on-campus degree or certificate programs during the spring 2020 semester who meet the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education should apply. Students who received CARES Act funding earlier this year are also eligible to apply again. Details concerning eligibility and the application process can also be found at the U of A's CARES Information Page. A key eligibility requirement is that students must have completed the FAFSA form for the 2020-21 academic year as of Oct. 15 and must be currently enrolled in the fall 2020 semester.

Application Review and Distribution Process

Go to the application

Eligibility will be determined by the university through FASFA documents and the CARES Act funding application. See the CARES Act Guidelines for more details. 

Applications will be reviewed bi-weekly beginning Sept. 21. Funds will be distributed to awarded students through BankMobile based on the refunding preference students have selected. Options include: 1) direct deposit to an existing bank account or 2) direct deposit to a BankMobile VIBE checking account.

Students who are eligible but have not yet filed a FAFSA for 2019-20 or 2020-21 can do so on the Federal Student Aid website.

Eligible students are encouraged to:

  • Update their mailing addresses in UAConnect
  • Create or review their refund delivery preferences with BankMobile
  • Contact BankMobile with any questions regarding refund delivery preferences

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 3 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Phillip Blevins, director
Office of Financial Aid and Academic Scholarships

Jeremy Burns, director of communications
Enrollment Services


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