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CARES Act Information

Wilmington College Receives CARES Act Funds to Distribute Emergency Grants to Students

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) designed in part to provide emergency financial aid grants (called CARES Act Grants) to students experiencing unexpected financial challenges related to the disruption of on-campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilmington College CARES Act Funds

Wilmington College was awarded $757,000 designated for student financial support from the CARES Act fund to ease the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.   The purpose of these funds are to assist students with unpredicted expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care incurred as a result of the transition from on-campus classes to online learning environments precipitated by COVID-19.  The CARES Act Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis until the funds are depleted. As of July 13, 2021, the College has disbursed $1,408,993 in CARES/HEERF funds to 1,403 eligible students.


Institutional Funds

Who is Eligible for a CARES Act Grant?

Wilmington College students must meet the eligibility requirements listed below.  More than 95% of our currently enrolled students are eligible for consideration of a CARES Act Grant.  To qualify, students must:

  1. Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended. [Example: Filed or be eligible to file a 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)]
  2. Be enrolled and completed the Spring 2020 and/or Fall 2020 semester
  3. Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress
  4. If male, registered with the Selective Service

There may be additional eligibility requirements for students in unique circumstances.  Those situations impact a small percentage of our students, and contact will be made with the student should they be ineligible to receive a grant.

What Expenses Qualify for a CARES Act Grant?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the following unexpected expenses students encountered as a result of the pandemic qualify for grant funding:

  • Food
  • Emergency Housing
  • Academic needs & technology associated with online learning
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare

While students are not required to submit receipts along with the request, it is highly recommended that students retain supporting documentation and receipts to validate the request should an audit become necessary.

Expenses not covered by the CARES Act Grant

  • Tuition, fees, college housing and meal plans
  • Lost/reduced wages from job lost/furlough
  • Rent/mortgage, non-essential utilities (cable/satellite TV)
  • Health insurance
  • Non-essential expenses (entertainment, recreation, non-essential travel)

How Much Will I Receive in a CARES Act Grant?

The initial CARES Act Grant of $250 was issued to eligible students the week of June 8. These funds were disbursed to students via direct deposits or by paper check mailed to the home address on file.

Eligible students enrolled for Spring 2020 who experienced financial hardship in excess to the initial grant were able to submit a CARES Act Grant Request Form for consideration of additional funding.  The Committee reviewed requests and distributed funds accordingly.  It is important to note that grants were awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Students were not guaranteed approval of the full amount requested.

Eligible students enrolled for Fall 2020 received a disbursement of $347 to assist with expenses associated with the continued pandemic as it relates to higher education.

How Do I Apply for Additional CARES Act funds?

Eligible students applied for additional funds through an online CARES Act Grant Request Form. The form expired on October 1, 2020, with funds being fully allocated to students.

Grant distribution may be verified through WILpay.  Students were encouraged to enroll in eRefund (in WILpay) for the quickest turnaround time to access funds.

What Else Should I Know about the CARES Act Grant?

The CARES Act Grants:

  • Cannot be applied to student account balances but are distributed directly to the student.
  • Are considered financial aid dollars and will be included in your 1098-T calculations in the year it occurred.

Are not available to students who aren’t eligible to receive federal student aid (PELL Grant, SEOG, Stafford Loans) such as international students, DACA students, students who are in default on federal student loans or students with a drug conviction.


If additional information is needed, please contact the CARES Act Committee at: