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Student Care Network

Important Update:  Effective October 9, 2020, Washington State University has exhausted all CARES Act emergency funding for students. 

COVID-19 Financial Assistance for Students

WSU was awarded $21.76 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The University allocated $10.88 million to Student Emergency Funds, all of which has been committed as of October 2020.

Initial eligibility for these students was based on federal guidelines and included:

  • Students enrolled on the Everett, Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver campuses
  • Students who qualified for federal financial aid through direct disbursements based on enrollment, expected family contribution, and need

WSU is here to support your academic progress.  If you are a student who has received a financial aid award for this term and have questions, contact your financial aid office.

If you are experiencing a hardship due to extenuating emergency circumstances, financial assistance may be available.  Please fill out the Student Emergency Funding Request form below to apply. Non-federal sources are providing these funds.

Submit Form

Key Facts Regarding Federal CARES Act Grants

Washington State University acknowledges that it has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education.

CARES Act FAQs

  • What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

    WSU was awarded $21.76 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The University allocated $10.88 million to Student Emergency Funds, all of which has been committed as of October 12, 2020 to students experiencing financial hardship because of the campus disruption in operations due to the coronavirus. The other half of the funds are used by the institution to help cover the cost related to operational disruptions caused by COVID-19.

  • How long will CARES Act funds be available?

    As of October 12, 2020, all $10.88 million of Student Emergency Funds have been committed.

  • Who is eligible for CARES Act and Student Emergency funding?

    To be eligible for CARES Act funding, a student must have had a FAFSA on file, meet federal eligibility requirements to receive financial aid, meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, and be enrolled in at least ½ time for Fall 2020 term classes.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES ACT funds to be awarded to international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students, or students enrolled at WSU Global.

    As of October 12, 2020, all $10.88 million Student Emergency Funds have been committed. However, if you are experiencing hardship due to extenuating emergency circumstances, financial assistance may be available.  Please fill out the Student Emergency Funding Request form. Non-federal sources are providing these funds. 

  • Why didn’t I receive funds from the CARES Act and what are my options?

    Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students not eligible for federal financial aid programs were not eligible for CARES Act funds. 

    The U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES ACT funds to be awarded to international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled at WSU Global.

    As of October 12, 2020, all $10.88 million Student Emergency Funds have been committed. However, if you are experiencing hardship due to extenuating emergency circumstances, financial assistance may be available.  Please fill out the Student Emergency Funding Request form. Non-federal sources are providing these funds. 

  • How will I receive the funding if I am awarded CARES Act or Student Emergency funding?

    The fastest way for WSU to deliver funds is for us to send it directly to the student’s personal bank account. We strongly recommend students go to myWSU, select Financial Account>Account Services>Enroll in Direct Deposit. If one needs to change their bank account information for a current direct deposit, go to myWSU, select Financial Account>Account Services>Manage My Bank Accounts. Once the new checking account information has been entered, click on the modify direct deposit link and follow the steps to select the new banking information. See video instructions for enrolling in direct deposit.  

    Some points to remember about Direct Deposit:

    • We can only deposit into domestic United States bank accounts or credit unions.
    • Communications are sent to the student’s official WSU email address when a direct deposit has been sent to the bank. The funds will generally be available in their bank account within three business days after it appears on their WSU student account.

    If you are awarded funds, it will take approximately 24-48 business hours from your confirmation date for the funds to be deposited into your bank account. Some banks make take longer to process payments.

    If you are not able to set up a direct deposit account, you be mailed a paper check to the local mailing address on record with the university. To determine what primary address WSU has on record for you, go to MyWSU, Main Menu and then My Profile.  You can check and update your primary address there. Be advised that this method can take between 1-2 weeks.

  • Who do I contact if I have questions?

    CARES ACT funding questions should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Service at: https://financialaid.wsu.edu/contact

    • Pullman, Everett, and Global campus Emergency Grant Funding questions should be directed to the Pullman Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@wsu.edu
    • Spokane campus Emergency Grant Funding questions should be directed to the Spokane Division of Student Affairs at spok.sa@wsu.edu
    • Tri-Cities campus Emergency Grant Funding questions should be directed to tricities.studentaffairs@wsu.edu
    • Vancouver campus Emergency Grant Funding questions should be directed to the Assistant Director, Student Financial Services: april.lappin@wsu.edu

  • How much will I get from the CARES Act or Student Emergency funds if I am eligible?

    Awarding levels for CARES Act funding ranged from $500-$1,000 and Emergency Funding levels varied depending on availability of funds.

  • What funds are available if I am not eligible for CARES Act funds?

    While the U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES Act grants to some students, WSU may be able to provide emergency funding. Please fill out the Student Emergency Funding Request form. Non-federal sources are providing these funds. 

  • Do I need to report financial aid or grants on my federal tax return?

    The IRS issued FAQs on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act that clarifies that the CARES Act aid should be treated as a “qualified disaster relief payment” and not be treated as taxable income. Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have separate and unique tax consequences for your federal tax return. Visit the https://www.irs.gov/IRS website for assistance.

Grant Distribution and Refunds

CARES funds are posted to student accounts and the student is notified via a message to their WSU email account.

Students enrolled in direct deposit will receive their funds directly in their bank account. This is the fastest way to receive a refund.

  • Students who need to update their direct deposit information should go to myWSU , select Financial Account > Account Services > Manage My Bank Accounts
  • Students who are not enrolled in direct deposit will receive a paper check to the local mailing address on record with the university. Students may check this address by going to go to myWSU, Main Menu and then My Profile
  • To enroll in direct deposit, students should go to myWSU, select Financial Account > Account Services > Enroll in Direct Deposit to do so. We strongly encourage students sign up for direct deposit.