CARES Act Required Reporting UPDATE

Updated CARES Act Information – July 15, 2020

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have each separately 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 provided $786,276 to CSB and $678,568 to SJU, most of which has been awarded as grants directly to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.  The amounts distributed to CSB and SJU students as of July 15 are as follows:
  • CSB:    $729,345
  • SJU:    $640,240

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. At Saint Ben’s, approximately 1,600 students meet these criteria, and at Saint John’s approximately 1,500.

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 were distributed by June 30, 2020 to four groups of eligible students. Students received funds via a check mailed to their permanent address on file with the Registrar’s office. As of July 15, 1,372 CSB students have received CARES Act Grants funding, and 1,220 SJU students have received funding. See below for a link to the online application.

  • Group 1: Federal Pell Grant Recipients: The institutions distributed $800 grants to 689 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 received $600. 495 students at the institutions received 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 1,400 students between both schools, received $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). These grants will range from $400 to $1,200 based on 1) the amount requested and 2) demonstrated financial need as determined by a review of the student’s FAFSA.

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.