CARES Act and Student Hardship Fund

Villanova University is providing emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.

The majority of these grants are being funded by the federal government through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid. Additional funds are being made available to our students thanks to generous donations from Villanova faculty, staff, alumni and parents.
 

About CARES Act Funding 

The recently enacted federal CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provided money to colleges and universities to distribute for emergency student grants. The purpose of this funding is to provide financial assistance to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. These emergency funds can pay for expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. The funding is separate from additional financial aid students may receive from Villanova University.

What Does the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Cover? 

Per the U.S. Department of Education, the following is a list of expenses that can be considered for grant assistance if they were "related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus."

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Course materials
  • Technology (such as needing to buy a computer when courses were moved online)
  • Health care
  • Child care
     

CARES Act Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for CARES Act funding:

  • Working towards a degree at Villanova.
  • Enrolled in Spring 2020 in at least one on-ground/in-person course, even if that course moved to an online format due to the pandemic.
  • Have a valid 2019-20 or 2020-21 FAFSA on file with Villanova University's Office of Financial Assistance.
  • Students must also indicate that they have experienced any of the aforementioned disruptions.

Please note: Per the U.S. Department of Education, international students and students enrolled exclusively in online courses are not eligible to receive CARES Act funding.
 

Support for Those Not Eligible for CARES Act Funding

Affected, degree-seeking Villanova students who are ineligible for CARES Act funding are encouraged to apply for support through the University’s Undergraduate Student Hardship Fund and Graduate Student Hardship Fund (see below for details). Thanks to donor contributions, additional funds will be distributed through the hardship fund to students who are ineligible for CARES Act funding.
 

Undergraduate Students

The Undergraduate Student Hardship Fund is a set of emergency funds available to directly address the needs of undergraduate students at Villanova who are facing unexpected costs caused by the impact of COVID-19. This fund will provide an award for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, which created unexpected expenses associated with enrollment at Villanova University. Support for this program currently originates from both the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provided through the CARES Act, as well as generous contributions from donors.

CARES Act funding is limited to students who are deemed Title IV eligible to receive federal financial assistance, verified by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Financial Aid).

If you have already received funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and it sufficiently covers your expenses, you DO NOT need to complete an application. 

If you did not already receive funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), or if you have documented expenses above the amount that was received from the HEERF fund, there may be other resources to assist you during this time for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. Please complete this application and we will review your request to determine the amount and type of funding that we can offer.

In the spirit of serving as many of Villanova University's most in need students, additional awards will generally be capped at $300 per student. Higher amounts may be requested and awarded to those who demonstrate circumstances of extreme hardship.

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. *Again, if you have already been notified of HEERF funding and the amount you received covers your expenses, you DO NOT need to complete an application.

Those with continuing financial need should apply for financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance for further information.


How to Apply to the Undergraduate Student Hardship Fund

To apply, download the fillable PDF and return the completed application by email with the subject line “Undergraduate Student Hardship Fund Application” to finaidcovid19@villanova.edu.  

Reminder: To qualify for CARES Act funding, you must have a FAFSA on file. We encourage you to complete that as soon as possible, as it takes about 3-5 days for the University to receive the results of the FAFSA. 
 

Undergraduate Students FAQs

No, unless the funding you received does not cover all of your expenses. You then would need to complete an application for those additional expenses. 

Undergraduate students who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  1. working towards a degree at Villanova
  2. enrolled in Spring 2020 in at least one on-ground/in-person course, even if that course moved to an online format due to the pandemic;
  3. incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.
     

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Due to the limited nature of funds available, we encourage students to apply as soon as possible.

Villanova cannot guarantee that all who apply will receive a grant as the University received limited federal funding through the CARES Act. Grants will be distributed to students who demonstrate they incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 until funds are exhausted.

No, money received through this fund does not need to be repaid. This fund does not impact nor replace any financial aid you may currently receive, and it is a one-time grant.

Awards for undergraduate students will generally be capped at $300. Larger amounts may be requested and awarded to those who can demonstrate they incurred higher expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. 

Our goal is to award emergency grants as quickly as possible, ideally within five (5) business days after receipt of application. This timeline may be extended if your FAFSA information is not on file. You will receive a notification to your Villanova.edu email address notifying you if you received the grant, in what amount and instructions to receive the funds.

If you have signed up for direct deposit of refunds, Villanova will post and direct deposit these funds in the designated bank account. If you have not signed up for direct deposit of refunds, you will need to so before the funds can be disbursed to you. Click here to see your direct deposit of refunds status or to sign up.

The full amount of the emergency grants will be given directly to students and will not pay outstanding balances owed to Villanova. Any outstanding balance remains the responsibility of the student.

No. Per the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act are qualified disaster relief payments and will not be taxable.

Students can submit questions to finaidcovid19@villanova.edu. If you have questions about your application for financial assistance not related to the Undergraduate Student Hardship Fund, please direct those questions to finaid@villanova.edu

Villanova University provides special consideration for applicants whose families are experiencing a change in financial circumstances. If your income has been reduced significantly because of the COVID-19 outbreak or any other life circumstance, please complete the Request for Revision form found on the Office of Financial Assistance website to the best of your ability, anticipating the taxable and untaxable income for the 2020 calendar year. Also provide any supporting documentation, where possible.

Students can apply for financial assistance even if they have never applied before. Please visit the Office of Financial Assistance website for information on how to apply for aid for the 2020-21 academic year.


Graduate and Law Students

Villanova University established a Graduate Student Hardship Fund to assist Graduate and Law students who had unexpected expenses due to the disruption of campus operations caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Support for this program currently originates from both the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provided through the CARES Act, as well as generous contributions from Villanova faculty, staff, alumni and parents.

There is a single application process for graduate students, regardless of what source of funding might ultimately aid a student. CARES Act funding is limited to students who are deemed Title IV eligible to receive federal financial assistance, verified by filing a FAFSA. See below for full eligibility requirements.

If you are not eligible to receive federal financial assistance there may be other resources to assist you during this time. If you have been impacted and incurred unexpected expenses, please complete the Graduate Student Hardship Fund application and we will review your request to determine if emergency funding may available to you.

In the spirit of serving as many of Villanova University's most in need students, awards will generally be capped at $1,000 per student. Higher amounts may be requested and awarded to those who demonstrate circumstances of extreme hardship.

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Those with continuing financial need are encouraged to apply for financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance for further information; CWSL students should contact the Law School’s Office of Financial Assistance.


How to Apply to the Graduate Student Hardship Fund 

To apply, download the fillable PDF and return the completed application by email with the subject line “Graduate Hardship Fund Application” or “LAW Graduate Hardship Fund Application” for CWSL students to finaidcovid19@villanova.edu.

Reminder: To qualify for CARES Act funding, you must have a FAFSA on file. We encourage you to complete that as soon as possible, as it takes about 3-5 days for the University to receive the results of the FAFSA. 
 

Graduate and Law Students FAQs

Students who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  1. working towards a degree at Villanova;
  2. enrolled in Spring 2020; 
  3. incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Applications will be reviewed as received. Due to the limited nature of funds available, we encourage students to apply as soon as possible.

Villanova cannot guarantee that all who apply will receive a grant as the University received limited funding from the U.S. Department of Education and donors. Grants will be distributed to students with the most demonstrated need until funds are exhausted.

No, money received through this fund does not need to be repaid. This fund does not impact nor replace any financial aid you may currently receive, and it is a one-time grant.

Awards for graduate students will generally be capped at $1,000. Higher amounts may be requested and awarded to those experiencing demonstrated extreme hardship.  

Our goal is to award emergency grants as quickly as possible, ideally within five (5) business days after receipt of application. This timeline may be extended if your FAFSA information is not on file.  You will receive a notification to your Villanova.edu email address notifying you if you received the grant, in what amount and instructions to receive the funds.

If you have signed up for direct deposit of refunds, Villanova will post and direct deposit these funds in the designated bank account.

If you have not signed up for direct deposit of refunds, you will need to so before the funds can be disbursed to you. Click here to see your direct deposit of refunds status or to sign up.

The full amount of the emergency grants will be given directly to students and will not pay outstanding balances owed to Villanova. Any outstanding balance remains the responsibility of the student.

No. Per the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act are qualified disaster relief payments and will not be taxable.