Who Can Receive Funds?

Eligibility will be determined by the college through FAFSA documents and distribution will begin once a student receives and completes the CARES Fund Survey accepting their grant. The survey will be sent to eligible students to their Ithaca College email.

The college has estimated that 4,729 students at the institution are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Group 1

In the initial distribution, all students enrolled exclusively in on-campus degree programs during the Spring 2020 semester who meet the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education (detailed below) and have completed a FAFSA for 2020 as of May 11 are eligible for these emergency grants.

The Office of Student Financial Services will use data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility and the amount of the grant based on tiers of expected family contribution (EFC). Students will receive a CARES Fund survey via Ithaca College email outlining the amount of their grant and requiring the student to accept, decline or reduce the amount of their grant.

Accepting or Declining Funds

By accepting the funds, students are confirming that they incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, additional travel, storage, health care or childcare costs. Students may decline part or all of the funds, if they did not have unanticipated expenses equal to the amount of their grant, or if they would like the funds to be made available for other students.

Any declined funds will go into the pool to be made available to other qualified students in need. Please indicate your desire to reduce or decline your grant on the CARES Fund Survey.

Emergency Grants

Students who do not receive grants during the initial distribution, but who meet the criteria and complete a FAFSA by June 1, will be eligible for an emergency grant on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

Students who are eligible but have not yet filed a FAFSA for 2019-20 can do so on the Federal Student Aid website.

Group 2

Title IV-eligible students meeting Section 484 of the Higher Education Act who have qualifying expenses and did not receive a grant in the initial distribution, were able to submit an individual appeal for up to $500. (This included graduate students, and students with higher EFCs.)

Students who did receive an initial grant but had qualifying expenses exceeding the amount of their grant were able to appeal for up to $500.  Appeals could be submitted for expenses incurred in Spring 2020 or Summer 2020, as long as they were related to campus disruptions due to COVID-19.

Final Appeal

The final opportunity for eligible students to appeal to receive CARES-Act funding will begin on Monday, July 13, 2020 at 9:00 am. Appeals will be considered on a first come, first served basis and we will continue to grant eligible appeals until all funding has been awarded.

Title IV-eligible students meeting Section 484 of the Higher Education Act who have qualifying expenses and have not received a grant to date, may submit an individual appeal for up to $500. (This can include graduate students, and students with higher expected family contributions.)

Students who received a previous grant(s) but have qualifying expenses exceeding the amount of their grant can also appeal for up to $500. Appeals may be submitted for expenses incurred in Spring 2020 or Summer 2020, as long as they are related to campus disruptions due to COVID-19.

Funds cannot be used to replace lost income or cover anticipated expenses for spring/summer.

Eligibility Requirements for CARES Funding

These requirements were set by the U.S. Department of Education and will be verified by Ithaca College based on a review of each student's 2019-20 FAFSA.

  • U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  •  Valid Social Security number
  • Registered with Selective Service if the student is a male
  • Earned a high school diploma, GED or completed high school in an approved homeschool setting
  • Student is not in default on a Title IV loan
  • Certification of a statement of educational purpose
  • Student does not owe a refund on grants previously received at any college
  • Maintaining the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards
  • Student has not been convicted of a crime involving fraud in obtaining Federal financial aid
  • Student has not been convicted of a drug offense while receiving Federal financial aid