On April 22, the University of Missouri–St. Louis funding funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Act provides federal aid to institutions of higher education to help students cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include areas such as food, housing, utilities, course materials, technology, health care, child care, and moving/transportation expenses.

On May 4, 2020, UMSL became the first university in the state to distribute CARES Act emergency relief funds. In total, UMSL awarded $2,915,113 in emergency financial aid grants to 1,458 students.

HEERF Information for the University of Missouri–St. Louis

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

UMSL signed and returned the CARES Act Funding Certification and Agreement on April 18 and received the Grant Award Summary from the Department of Education on April 22, 2020.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis received $2,915,113 in emergency financial aid grants for students. All of this aid has been received by the institution and awarded to UMSL students.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

The entire $2.9 million allocation was awarded to students in the form of emergency grants in amounts up to $2,000. 

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

We had a total of 5,265 students who were enrolled at UMSL in spring 2020 and eligible to receive Title IV aid. 

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

There were 1,458 students awarded emergency financial aid grants at UMSL through the CARES Act.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The emergency grants were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis at UMSL. The applicants were required to check one or more reasons why they needed emergency financial assistance on the application, and then they had to provide a written explanation for each reason they selected. 

We considered several factors when determining the maximum amount for the emergency grants (average cost for a laptop and high-speed internet, average cost of rent and one month of groceries, and the average outstanding balance that students had at UMSL). Ultimately, we decided to make the maximum amount of the CARES Act Emergency Grant $2,000 (the same as our UMSL Grant).  

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

The guidance and instructions provided by UMSL for the CARES Act emergency grants is outlined below. We informed our student body of this opportunity with a message on our website on April 10th. Then we followed up with email notifications to all of our Pell eligible students on April 29 and the rest of our student body on April 30.  The application for the CARES Act Emergency Grant was active for 48 hours at UMSL and we received 1,896 applications.