CARES Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Last updated July 20, 2020

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI)acknowledges receipt and endorsement of the Department of Education’s Certification and Agreement for the use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.  UVI intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds to support students.

UVI received $856,868 from the Department of Education, pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

UVI estimates that 1,779  students are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 which could qualify them to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) if student eligibility requirements are met as established by the Department of Education.

As of July 20, 2020, (the 45 day report) as required by the Department of Education, UVI has distributed $719,417 to 1,779 students. The next report is scheduled for August 18, 2020.

Each institution that received funds were provided guidelines to follow but were also given some discretion to apply the funds in a manner most appropriate to its institution and student body. The CARES Act does restrict that funds cannot be used for international or online students. All other students eligible for Title IV funding can receive refunds.

Below are criteria developed by the Administration in distributing the funds to students. We attempted to provide every student who qualified support and use the remaining funds to address specific financial losses that qualified students incurred due to COVID-19.

Technology Allowance:

Each student enrolled in the Spring semester who qualifies for Title IV funding (1,779 total) and remained enrolled received a technology allowance of $125 per month for three months, which equals $375 for a total of $667,125.

Compelling Financial Situation:

All students qualifying for Title IV funding were afforded the opportunity to apply for Cares Act funding to address unusual and compelling financial losses due to COVID-19. UVI set aside $100,000 to award based on genuine increased expenditures and hardships as demonstrated by the student applicant. Some examples of an unusual and compelling financial loss would be the loss of a job due to COVID-19 that the student planned to use to pay tuition or other costs of attendance; unusual medical expenditures related to the pandemic; documented housing expenditures because a student was unable to live at home due to the pandemic. A total of 56 students were awarded $52,292 in funding.  A three-person Administrative panel reviewed all requests and made final decisions.

Ongoing Support:

May 2020 graduates who move out of the Territory and choose to return in December for Commencement ceremonies will be reimbursed for documented airfare and hotel expenditures up to the limit of $1,000. We have set aside $89,743 for this category.

Any funds not expended in the above categories will be used to support qualifying students either in the Fall or Spring semesters. UVI will expand all of the funds by April 10, 2021.


Messages to Students

 
May 7, 2020

Dear UVI Students: 

I hope all of you are doing well with your exams as you triumphantly reach the end of this very unique semester journey. I am proud of each of you and wish you much success on the rest of the journey.

In the email below, which I sent on  April 28, 2020, I indicated that we would share an application form so those who had qualifying circumstances could apply for financial assistance under Category #2 below. Here is the link to the application  https://tinyurl.com/ybajtyl5.  If you faced compelling and unique losses due to COVID-19 this semester, please complete the form and upload the appropriate documentation to support your loss. A committee has been created to review all applications and make decisions in the near future. 

I hope that some of you will be able to take advantage of this opportunity provided by the University through the CARES Act.

Best Wishes,

David Hall

President


April 28, 2020

Dear UVI Students:

Thanks for your tremendous dedication and hard work in continuing to pursue your educational dreams. As I indicated in my last communication with you, the University applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to receive funding under the recently enacted CARES Act. Our application was approved and we were awarded $856,868 to be distributed directly to students for financial support related directly to the impact of COVID-19. Each institution that received funds were provided guidelines to follow but were also given some discretion to apply the funds in a manner most appropriate to its institution and student body. Unfortunately, one of the main restrictions is that the funds cannot be used for international students. These funds require that students receiving them needed to have applied for, or are eligible to apply for Title IV funding. The University Administration is exploring the possibility of securing institutional scholarship funds to provide some relief to our international student population. DOE also indicated that Online students are excluded, because there was no change in their educational delivery process. 

Below are the criteria developed by the Administration which will be used to distribute the funds. We are attempting to provide every student who qualifies some support and then use the remaining funds to address specific financial losses that qualified students incurred due to COVID-19. Please review and pay close attention to the below criteria and instructions.

I am grateful that the U.S. Department of Education was able to release the funds so quickly, and we will do our best to get them in the hands of students as soon as possible. 

 

David Hall

President    

 

Criterion #1:  Each student enrolled in the Spring semester who qualifies for Title IV funding (1,779 total) and remained enrolled will receive a technology allowance of $125 per month for three months, which equals $375. We estimate this amount to equal $667,125. Our goal is to have these checks sent to students as soon as we can complete the process. If you want your check to be deposited directly into your bank account, please complete the attached form. The completed form should be emailed to:  ap@myuvi.net.  

 

Criterion #2: Students who had unusual and compelling financial losses due to COVID 19, can submit a request, with documentation, and be eligible for special support. You will receive shortly a link for how to apply and upload the supporting documentation.  These funds are limited and will only be awarded if genuine increased expenditures and hardships can be demonstrated and documented. Some examples of an unusual and compelling financial loss would be the loss of a job due to COVID-19 that the student planned to use to pay tuition or other costs of attendance; unusual medical expenditures related to the pandemic; documented housing expenditures because a student was unable to live at home due to the pandemic. A three-person Administrative panel will review all requests and make final decisions. We have set aside $100,000 for this category.

 

Criterion #3: May 2020 Graduates who move out of the Territory and choose to return in December for Commencement ceremonies will be reimbursed for documented airfare and hotel expenditures up to the limit of $1,000. We have set aside $89,743 for this category.    

Total Budget: $856,868

Any funds not expended in the above categories will be used to support qualifying students either in the Fall or Spring semesters. We have until April 10, 2021 to expend all of the funds.