CARES Act Student Emergency Grants

Updated CARES Act Information – June 20, 2020

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have signed, and returned, to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and intend to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Grants to students.

The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides $786,276 to CSB and $678,568 to SJU to be awarded as grants directly to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Expenses include, but are not limited to, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. 

CARES Act funding is restricted to students who meet the qualifications outlined by the federal government as part of the CARES Act, which states only students who are eligible for federal Title IV financial aid may receive emergency grant funding, which exceeds 1,370 CSB students and 1,215 SJU students.

To determine how best to distribute CARES Act student emergency grants to eligible students, a team was convened to evaluate options. There was consensus that priority would be given to students with greater financial need as demonstrated by the 2019-20 FAFSA.

Based on this information, grants will be distributed by June 30, 2020 to four groups of eligible students. Students will receive funds via a check mailed to their permanent address on file with the Registrar’s office.  

  • Group 1: Federal Pell Grant Recipients:The institutions will distribute $800 grants to approximately 700 Federal Pell Grant recipients at CSB and SJU who were enrolled in eligible programs during spring semester 2020 when the CARES Act was enacted. 
  • Group 2: Students with a FAFSA EFC (expected family contribution) too high for a Pell Grant but within Minnesota State Grant eligibility will receive $600. Almost 500 students at the institutions will receive this funding. This includes students from outside of Minnesota who would quality for a state grant if they were a Minnesota resident.
  • Group 3: Other undergraduate and School of Theology FAFSA filers for 2019-20, which total approximately 1,380 students between both schools, will receive $350.
  • Group 4: CSB and SJU will make the remaining CARES Act funds available via online application beginning immediately and extending until the funds are exhausted. Any eligible student may apply for a grant from the remaining funds (approximately $60,000 at CSB and $40,000 at SJU).

CSB and SJU will continue to review guidance from the Department of Education regarding these funds. We know this funding is important to our students, and our goal is to get student emergency grants to students as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Next Steps

Families who have experienced a significant change in their financial situation my complete the CSB/SJU Special Circumstances form, following completion of the FAFSA, and submit it to the financial aid office, along with supporting documentation as explained on the form. Questions about the CARES Act Grant or applying for financial aid can be directed to Stuart Perry ([email protected]), director of financial aid at CSB or Robert Piechota ([email protected]), director of financial aid at SJU.