CARES Act Background and Eligibility

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It is a 2.2 trillion-dollar stimulus bill. The Act provides various funding and relief sources for higher education institutes and their students. Stonehill will distribute $749,391 directly to eligible students.

Any student that is eligible to apply for federal financial aid. That means under the law passed by Congress that only international students and undocumented students are not eligible to receive funds.

While the federal CARES Act does not provide grants to undocumented students, Stonehill will provide an equivalent “Stonehill Cares” grant to undocumented students who meet the same expense and need criteria. International students are encouraged to review the resources available through their home country. International students who have questions may contact the Stonehill Student Finance Office at 508-565-1088.

If you filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then you have already demonstrated eligibility to participate in this program. If you did not file a FAFSA but are eligible to file a FAFSA, you also may receive an emergency financial aid grants.

Likely, yes. Please check MyHill to verify that fact.

This program is part of a federal stimulus package intended to support students who experienced disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, nearly all students are eligible for federal dollars and the College is committed to supporting students who are not eligible for federal dollars with institutional dollars.

We encourage all students to verify their eligibility status regardless of whether or not they qualify for financial aid.

Funding Allocation and How to Apply

Guidance from the Federal Department of Education encouraged institutions to determine how many students can receive CARES Act funding in a manner that prioritized allocating more funding to students with the “greatest financial need” while disbursing the remaining funding as “widely as possible.” The College acted in accordance with that guidance, resulting in student allocations of $650.00 and $250.00 based on demonstrated financial need. Students that do not meet the federal requirements—or cannot certify that they do—will receive the same level of funding, however, it will come from institutional sources.

You can complete a simple application through MyHill in the Financial Aid and Bill section.

The form is three sections long:

  1. You must review the program eligibility requirements and certify that you are indeed eligible.
  2. The form will share, based on the individual student's need, whether they are eligible for a $250 or $650 payment. You must review a list of eligible expenses and certify that you have incurred those expenses.
  3. You must electronically sign the form.

Funds are intended to assist with legitimate expenses including food; housing (not including billed room and board), course materials, health care; childcare; technology (e.g. buying a computer to work online; internet cost), and transportation.

The College is currently holding the remaining relief funding because we anticipate that we will use it to respond to increased financial aid appeal requests for the fall semester based on the impact experienced by our students and their families including employment and other financial setbacks during the pandemic. Funding will also be used to address safety needs and equipment as students and employees return to campus.

Approval and Payment

The amount you are eligible to receive is indicted as part of the payment application in MyHill.  

Once a student completes the application regarding your eligibility, your application will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office for approval.

Once approved, you will be issued a check in the amount of $650 or $250 based on your level of demonstrated need as determined by your FAFSA information. The Financial Aid Office will only notify if you are not approved to receive a payment.

The grant will be either direct deposited (if on file) or a check mailed to your permanent home address within two weeks of applying.

No, the IRS has confirmed emergency aid received under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses supporting urgent needs of student are not taxable and are not included in your gross income. Read the IRS' full statement.

The amount available to student is based on the FAFSA (financial aid) information we have for the 2019-2020 academic year. In accordance with the Department of Education's guidance, we prioritized students that have the highest level of financial need, such as Pell Grant recipients. This funding was intended to assist with costs specifically related to educational disruptions as a result of COVID-19 and our need calculations reflect that focus on the spring semester.

CARES Act Reporting Information

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)
➤ Stonehill College completed the certification and agreement to receive CARES Act funds from the Department of Education, and will use no less than 50% of funds under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

➤ Stonehill College has completed both the certification and agreement to take receipt of $1,498,782.00 in CARES Act funding, using no less than $749,391.00 for emergency Financial Aid grants directly to students.

➤ Stonehill estimates 2,370 enrolled students are eligible to participate in programs under §484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

➤ As of September 30, 1,895 students have received Emergency Financial Aid Grant funds totaling $607,800 under §18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

➤ Stonehill College recognizes that all students enrolled during the Spring 2020 term were impacted in some way as a result of the disruption of COVID-19. Guidance from the Federal Department of Education encouraged institutions to determine how many students can receive CARES Act funding in a manner that prioritized allocating more funding to students with the “greatest financial need” while disbursing the remaining funding as “widely as possible.” The College acted in accordance with that guidance, resulting in student allocations of $650.00 and $250.00 based on demonstrated financial need. Students that do not meet the federal requirements—or cannot certify that they do—will receive the same level of funding, however, it will come from institutional sources.


Last updated September 30, 2020

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If you have additional questions, please contact:

Duffy Academic Center – 103

The Office of Student Financial Assistance assists students and families in finding and managing the financial resources that will enable them to afford a college education.