What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the federal government?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (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 sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?
UVA Wise applied for funding from the federal CARES Act and, once we receive that funding from the U.S. Department of Education, we will begin accepting applications and award grants to students based on their financial need. Recipients will be notified via a message to their UVA Wise email account.

What do I do to obtain CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?
Students must complete the UVA Wise CARES application form and return it to by May 29, 2020. The application can be found at online and copies were sent via campus email to students appearing to be eligible. Applications received after this date will not be consider for distribution of funds.

Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?
Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need can be considered for these funds. The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) will use Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20, please file a FAFSA at If you need assistance, please contact the UVA Wise Office of Financial Aid.

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the CARES Act, funds can be awarded to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at the UVA Wise.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.

What is a UVA Wise CARES ACT Relief Grant?
The CARES Act directed universities to prioritize students whose family income is in the low- to low-middle income categories and UVA Wise wants to provide economic relief quickly to students who may have experienced additional expenses and/or a loss of income in spring quarter due to COVID-19. We have used the CARES Act emergency aid funds to provide a relief grant based on your status reported on your FAFSA.

These funds are meant to help students pay expenses for technology, health care, child care, course materials, rent, food moving or other expenses incurred this quarter. If you have yet to experience financial stress due to COVID-19, these funds can help with unanticipated expenses or income loss that may occur throughout the quarter and into future quarters.

Why didn’t I receive a UVA Wise CARES Act Relief Grant?
Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for federal CARES grants. However, UVA Wise may be able to help you with grants or aid from other institutional or private donations. These funds are limited, but we encourage you to apply. We will review your request and determine if we can offer you assistance.

If you are eligible for federal aid, but did not receive the UVA Wise CARES Act Relief standard grant described above, you can notify our office for a review of your situation by submitting a request for UVA Wise Emergency Aid.

In general, you probably didn’t receive a standard relief grant because you may not have appeared to meet the criteria of greatest financial need. However, we know that many families’ income is in flux or there may be additional expenses associated due to the pandemic. We need to hear from you in order to determine if we can offer you funds too. Please file the emergency aid request to help with your immediate needs and consider filing a request for change in income or expenses for other financial aid funds for longer term and future needs. Find more information about changing your financial aid information.

What emergency relief funds are available for international students?
Unfortunately, under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, international students are not eligible for the federal CARES funds. International students who need emergency aid assistance are encouraged to file an emergency aid application. Please note that these funds are limited and generally awarded to help with living expenses.

Will there be CARES funds for 2020-21?
At this time, we are working with the current CARES Act emergency aid and monitoring federal and state economic conditions, as well as the prospects for additional federal emergency funding for higher education institutions and students. We will continue to make emergency aid grants from UVA Wise emergency funds as they are available. The College will update these FAQ as conditions change on the use of these funds.

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Our FAFSA (Title IV federal school) code is 003747.

About us
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise seeks to provide a world class education to our students, at an affordable rate. The College works diligently to break down student financial obstacles so that they may achieve their highest potential.