Skip to main content

Federal CARES Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund 

Boise State University has received its first installment of the CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $5.4 million.

These funds provide direct emergency assistance for Boise State students who have incurred unanticipated expenses due to the disruption of campus operations in response to COVID-19.  Boise State’s goal is to assist students with the greatest financial need, in accordance with federal guidelines.  Funds will immediately be offered to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Must have been enrolled through the end of the 2020 spring semester
  • Currently enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate students, and not enrolled in an exclusively online program (on March 13, 2020)
  • Title IV eligible as determined by the FAFSA
  • Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Have an official expected family contribution (EFC) between $0 – $10,000
  • Not receiving a senior citizen, faculty/staff/dependent waiver
  • Incurred unanticipated COVID-19 related expenses including, for example, additional childcare, technology or moving expenses.

Students enrolled in the summer semester will be considered for emergency funding based on the same criteria.  Summer funds will be distributed after June 9, 2020. Students enrolled in the fall term will also be eligible for funds under the same terms; fall funds will be distributed after September 14, 2020.

Students that do not meet the criteria above but who have incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations in response to COVID-19 may submit an application to be considered for funding by clicking here.  They must also file the FAFSA to determine Title IV eligibility.  The deadline for submitting the secondary application is:

  •  Summer semester – June 9
  • Fall semester – September 9

All applications will be reviewed after the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students will receive CARES Act funds and how much will they receive?

More than 5,400 students are receiving the funds for the spring semester.  The amount varies depending on the student’s financial situation, but most students will receive an amount ranging from $500 to $675.  Students will be notified of the exact amount in their 2019-20 financial aid package, through their BroncoMail, and their student financial account.

How quickly can students receive their CARES Act funds?

Students signed up for direct deposit will receive the money directly to their bank account on file within a few days.  Students without direct deposit will be mailed a check to their address on file which could take 2 weeks to receive.  Students should ensure their address is up to date in the system to avoid delays in receiving checks.

The U.S. Department of Education has established eligibility criteria that relies heavily on the student filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The initial distribution criteria used the expected family contribution (EFC) to select students; however, students who now meet the initial selection criteria may complete a secondary application along with the FAFSA to be considered for funds.  The CARES Act Emergency Funds application is available here.

Will funds be available for summer or fall semesters?

Yes, funds are available for students enrolled in summer semester.  If you meet the eligibility criteria for spring and enroll in summer courses, it is likely that you will also receive funds to assist with expenses due to the disruption of campus operations.  The distribution of funding in the fall will be determined based on the availability of funds.

Are these funds taxable?

These funds are not taxable according to the IRS.  See their CARES Act emergency grant FAQ website for more information.

I did not receive CARES Act funding in the first selection group. Can I be considered for funding?

Yes, please complete the following items to be considered for funding:

  1. If you haven’t already, please complete the FAFSA application. Either application year will work for the purpose of determining Title IV eligibility for CARES Act funding.  However, if you would also like to be considered for other federal financial aid, complete 2019-20 for summer aid or 2020-21 for fall 2020 aid.
  2. Complete the CARES Act Emergency Funds application here by the deadlines for the requested semester.

To request funding for summer expenses – June 9

To request funding for fall semester expenses – September 9

Which FAFSA should I file to be considered for CARES Act funds?

If you’re seeking federal financial aid, including CARES Act funding, for the summer semester, please complete the 2019-20 FAFSA.

If you are only filing the FAFSA to be considered for CARES Act funds, please complete the 2020-21 FAFSA using your 2018 income.

Is other financial support available to students at this time?

Boise State has emergency funds through the Dean of Students Emergency Fund, short term loans, Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), alternative loans and a review of your existing financial aid packages due to special conditions. Please contact the Financial Aid office to discuss the available options.

We also recommend students review our private scholarships page and student life resource page for additional resources.

Further CAREs Information

Boise State University signed and submitted the Certification and Agreement for the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) on April 28, 2020.  Boise State University has already partially awarded and intends to continue to award no less than 50 percent of the total CARES Act funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Boise State University is scheduled to receive a total of $10,937,516 in CARES Act funding.  No less than 50 percent ($5,468,758) must be spent on direct emergency funds to students.  The remaining amount is designated for institutional use.  

On May 6, 2020, Boise State University issued $3,442,925 in CARES Act HEER funds to 5,446 students enrolled in the spring semester.  Future payments are planned for students enrolled in the summer and fall semesters.

The Department of Education defined the eligibility for CARES Act HEER funds as:

  • Title IV eligible as defined in Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965; including, Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Enrollment in a ground-based program on March 13, 2020

Based on this criteria, 10,266 students were eligible to receive CARES Act HEER funding.  Boise State University utilized the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) derived from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the distribution plan.  While a large number of students were financially impacted in a variety of ways, it was determined that those with the lowest income were the least financially prepared to overcome those impacts.  Therefore, funds were distributed to eligible students with an EFC up to $10,000.  

EFC Range Spring Amount (05/06/20)Number of Recipients
EFC of $0$6752,015
EFC $1 - $3,000$6501,487
EFC $3,001 - $5,576$600850
EFC $5,577 - $7,000 *$650432
EFC $7,001 - $10,000$500669

*This group of students fall just outside of the financial eligibility criteria for the federal Pell grant; the proposed HEERF reflects this financial situation.  

Enrolled students with higher EFCs that incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations are encouraged to complete the secondary application to be considered for funding in the summer and fall semesters.  All applications will be reviewed after the following deadlines:

Summer – June 9

Fall – September 9

The following communication was sent to CARES Act HEERF recipients via BroncoMail: CAREs Email