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CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund for Students – Public Announcement and FAQs


UPDATE July 2, 2020:

As of 5/28/2020, the college has disbursed, in its entirety, the $388,269 student portion of the CARES Act Higher Educational Relief Fund to 535 eligible students.

About CARES Act Funding

The recently enacted federal CARES Act HEERF has provided federal funding to educational institutions to distribute for emergency student grants.  The purpose of the student grants is to provide financial assistance to students for expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the impact of the coronavirus.


Was Warren Wilson College included in this Funding Allocation Under the CARES Act?

Yes, in April, President Morton received notification and information about the CARES Act HEERF funding from the Secretary of Education.  Soon after, authorized personnel signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to the Department of Education as required to receive the funding specifically for Warren Wilson College.  In that certification, the college agreed to appropriately spend the $388,269, representative of the 50% student allocation received under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act, to provide emergency grants to our students.  In addition, the college must certify that they have continued to pay all eligible employees and contractors during the period of disruptions or closures to the greatest extent practicable.  We have also complied with this stipulation to the greatest extent practicable.


What Kinds of Expenses are these CARES Act HEERF Student Grants to cover?

Examples of expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the impact of the coronavirus are food, housing, course materials, technology needs, health care, or childcare.


What are the Eligibility Criteria for the CARES Act HEERF Student Grants?

Students who meet all criteria below are eligible for the CARES Act HEERF student grants:

  1. Working towards an undergraduate degree at Warren Wilson College
  2. Actively enrolled as of March 13, 2020, in the Spring 2020 semester, in at least one in-person course, even if that course moved to an online format due to the coronavirus pandemic
  3. Have a valid 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with Warren Wilson College Financial Aid Office


Per the US Department of Education, international students and undocumented students are not currently eligible to receive CARES Act HEERF student grants.


How Much Will I Receive?

Warren Wilson College elected to equitably serve those considered eligible to receive the funding stipulated above.  We have simply divided the total funds received by the total number of those eligible from above.  The total number of those eligible is 535 students.  Dividing our funding level of $388,269 by 535 computes to allow for $725.74  per eligible student.


Are there any actions required of those eligible?

Eligible students do not need to take any action to receive these grant funds.


When will I receive these funds if I am eligible?

Our goal is to process these grants by the end of May 2020.


How will I receive these funds if I am eligible?

All eligible students will receive a check mailed to their address on file.  If you recently completed the room and board refund form, then we will utilize those addresses.  Since this program is focused specifically on student emergency grants, the checks will be made payable to the student only and to the address on file. In order to keep the grant program processes flowing efficiently, we are unable to accommodate special requests at this time due to the heavy volume of inquiries we are experiencing in the financial services area.


What if I currently owe tuition or other expenses to Warren Wilson College?

The full amount of the CARES Act HEERF student grants will be given directly to eligible students and will not pay any outstanding balances due to the College.  Any outstanding balances due to Warren Wilson College remain the responsibility of the student.


If I am eligible for the CARES Act HEERF student grant, is it taxable? 

No.  Emergency student grants under the CARES Act HEERF are qualified disaster relief payments per the US Internal Revenue Code and are deemed not taxable.


If I am eligible, will I need to repay this CARES Act HEERF student grant?

No, this one-time grant received under the CARES Act HEERF funding does not need to be repaid.


Has the college distributed any CARES Act HEERF student grants as of 5/22/2020?

No.  As our process stipulates above, our goal is to distribute these funds by the end of May 2020.


This Question and Answer format serves to comply with Warren Wilson College’s Department of Educations required 30-day reporting requirement as of 5/22/20.

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