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CARES Fund Distribution: Student Plan

CRRSAA Fund Distribution: Student Plan

Eastern Kentucky University signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement form on April 15, 2020. EKU is committed to use the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The allocation to be awarded to EKU students is $5,271,384. In compliance with guidance from the Department of Education (DoE), these funds will be awarded directly to students or applied to their balance if applicable to address the pressing financial need of students due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus.

Identification of Students

The University developed a process in line with the DoE guidance to distribute the funds in the most expedited way possible. The decision was made to identify priority groups of students based on immediate, identified need and make block awards to students in those priority groups. Students will be asked to submit a response indicating how they have been impacted by COVID-19. After discussion with administrators, faculty, and student success staff, three priority student groups were identified. Students who are not eligible for funds, such as those not eligible to apply for Title IV funds were not included in these populations. Currently, the university has identified 4,870 potential students who are eligible. Students who fall into multiple groups will be awarded in the group with the highest award total.

  1. Full Need ($0 EFC) Pell Grant Recipients: These are our neediest students for which a small financial obstacle can prevent students from succeeding. The disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will disproportionately affect this group of students. CRRSAA funds will help students pay for essential needs.
  2. Remaining Pell Grant Recipients: Although not full need, this group of students also faces financial barriers to success even under normal conditions. The economic impact associated with disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will disproportionately impact this group of students as well, but to a lesser extent than full need students. Therefore, the award amount for this group is smaller. CRRSAA funds will help students pay for essential needs.
  3. Students with a Balance: These are students who have a documented financial need. Their balance is a reflection of financial instability and indicates that they have financial barriers. The amount of this award is tiered based on the amount of the student balance. CRRSAA funds will help these students pay off their balance and/or cover essential needs and other financial obligations. Students have the option of applying funds directly to the identified balance with any remaining funds directly distributed to students to cover additional financial needs.

Remaining funds after awards have been made to priority groups will be distributed to students who apply for emergency funds over the next year with continued financial need due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19.These students may apply on their own or be directed to apply by faculty or staff members who know the student has a need related to COVID-19. This will allow us to provide assistance to qualifying students who do not fit one of the priority groups. CRRSAA funds will help these students cover essential needs and other financial obligations related to disruption caused by the pandemic. These students will apply through the CARES Funds Request outlined here.

COVID-19 Impact Documentation

All students who fall into one of the priority groups will be asked to complete a form to document the ways they have been impacted by the disruptions caused by COVID-19. That documentation will be provided in our reporting spreadsheet for the Department of Education. The form is provided in Appendix A.

Awarded Amount

Amounts awarded for each priority group are provided in the table below. If students fall into more than one category, they will be awarded the largest group award for which they qualify.

Categories of Awardees  

Amount Awarded per Student

Priority Group #1


Priority Group #2


Priority Group #3


Balance Amount: $500 - $999


Balance Amount: $1,000 - $1,999


Balance Amount: $2,000 - $2,999



Distribution Method and Message

Students will receive an email in their University email account with the message below to let them know that they are eligible for CARES funds. The link referenced in the message will take students to the form in Appendix A.

You are eligible for $xxxx in emergency relief funds associated with additional expenses due to COVID-19. These funds will be awarded to you through a process established by Eastern Kentucky University. To be eligible, log into EKU Direct and click the yellow box that says "Click here to submit the CARES form." Then complete the form to indicate how you have been impacted by COVID-19. Once you have completed the form and updated your address and banking information, the University will issue the funds through your associated bank account or by check.

 Please contact us at or (859) 622-2361 if you have questions about the disbursement or the disbursement process.

Once a student completes the form, their information will be provided to the Finance Office and funds will be distributed to the student on the next distribution day that week. The Finance Office will update the record for date of distribution and track any returned funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CRRSAA?

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. The purpose of the CRRSAA Act is to provide emergency assistance to current students with the most financial need, as a result of disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Who is eligible for CARES/CRRSAA?

  • Official 2019-2020 FAFSA is on file
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking program for the Spring 2020 term
  • Maintaining the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Eligible for Title IV funds

How will CARES/CRRSAA be awarded to EKU students?

Priority groups were identified consistent with Federal Department of Education guidelines. If students fall into more than one category, they will be awarded the largest group award for which they qualify. If a student is not eligible based on the identified criteria, EKU encourages them to complete the CARES Application for Funds. Students who complete the CRRSAA application will be awarded on a case by case basis.

Am I eligible for CARES/CRRSAA Act funding?

Students who are eligible will receive an email with instructions on how to accept their grant.  Students who do not apply the funds to their balance can enter their bank information for direct deposit. A check can also be mailed.

If I did not receive CARES/CRRSAA Act funds, can I apply?

Yes, EKU encourages students who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 to complete the CARES Application. Students who complete the CARES application will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

What expenses qualify under the CARES/CRRSAA Act?

This grant has been provided to assist students with unexpected expenses related to disruptions caused by COVID-19. These eligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Child Care
  • Course Materials
  • Technology Needs
  • Educational Related Expenses

Do recipients have to pay back CARES/CRRSAA?

No, CRRSAA Act is a grant that does not have to be paid back.

Is the grant taxable?

No, per the Internal Revenue Service the grant will not be included in your taxable income. Please visit the IRS’s site here for more details.

Will the CARES/CRRSAA Act grant affect my future aid eligibility?

No, receiving CRRSAA funds will not affect future financial aid eligibility.

Are graduate students eligible?

Yes, any graduate student that has not received CRRSAA and has been adversely affected by COVID-19 please complete the CRRSAA Application.

CARES 2020 Distribution Information

HEERF Quarterly Reporting

Amounts Distributed and Number Awarded

As of April 12, 2021, we have awarded 4,974 students a total of $5,156,250 in CARES funds; and 4,608 students a total of $4,451,150 in CRRSAA funds.

Available in list of attachments, below.


heerf-quarterly-reporting_93020.pdf589.44 KB
heerf-quarterly-reporting-v131_-_03312020.pdf183.4 KB
heerf-quarterly-reporting-v131_123020.pdf191.3 KB
heerf_quarterly_report_-_4th_quarter_ending_june_30_2021.pdf181.9 KB
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