Federal CARES Act
Last updated October 27
The University of Pittsburgh has received its CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $10.6 million. These funds provide direct emergency assistance for Pitt students. Pitt's goal is to assist students with the greatest need, in accordance with federal guidelines. These students include:
- Undergraduate students who received a Spring 2020 Federal Pell Grant;
- Undergraduate students who did not receive a Spring 2020 Federal Pell Grant and who had unmet financial need;
- Graduate students who received a federal loan for spring term 2020 and who had unmet financial need;
- Graduate students whose summer stipend has been impacted
(as verified by the Office of the Provost – Graduate Studies);
- Displaced student employees of Pitt's food service providers; and
- Resident Assistants who lost meal plan access
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many students will receive CARES Act grants, and how much will they receive?
- Approximately 11,000 students—on all five Pitt campuses—are receiving these grants. The amount varies depending on the student's situation, but most students will receive amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000. Students will be notified of the exact amount in their PittPAY account under the spring 2020 activity tab.
- Is it possible for a student to receive more than one grant?
Yes. For example, if an undergraduate student is both a Pell Grant recipient and was furloughed from a campus dining service by a third-party dining service operated at the Pittsburgh campus, that individual would receive two CARES grants posted to the student account.
Graduate students will receive one CARES grant either because they borrowed a federal Direct Loan for spring term OR if they didn’t borrow but will not receive a stipend an expected stipend for summer term.
- Will students who just graduated receive assistance?
- Students who were enrolled during spring term were considered if they met the criteria detailed above.
- How quickly can students receive their CARES grant funds?
Students who have registered for PittPAY eRefunds will receive the money directly in their bank account on file within 2-3 days. Students who have not registered for PittPAY eRefunds will receive a check at their home address on file within 10-14 days.
- What about students who were not eligible for financial aid previously, but due to COVID-related job losses now qualify for aid?
- The U.S. Department of Education has established criteria for distribution that rely heavily on the student having filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who did not fall into any of the above categories for eligibility and/or are not eligible for CARES Act grants should apply for aid for the future. Students can reach out to a financial aid counselor to learn more about the application process. These students are eligible to apply for other funding, described in the FAQ below.
- Is other financial support available to students at this time?
- Pitt is supporting students in need of financial aid relief in other ways. All students, regardless of CARES grant eligibility, are able to apply for emergency assistance.
- How is unmet financial need defined for CARES Act Grant eligibility?
Unmet need is any amount left over from the federally defined cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution (EFC) and all financial aid, including loans, that has been awarded to the student.