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COVID 19 - Related Financial Aid Updates

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COVID-19 CARES Act Relief Funding Notification

Support Updates Funding Notification | Emergency Grants

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office sent undergraduate students awarded CARES Act funding the following message.

We hope you and your family are taking the necessary measures to stay safe and healthy during this challenging time. We know that the COVID-19 crisis has brought immense disruption to our campus and to the lives of our students. 

This message is to inform you that we are providing you with financial resources from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to assist with additional expenses you are experiencing during this period of social distancing and online learning. This funding will go directly to you; it will not apply to any outstanding balances you may have on your student account and your 2019-20 financial aid awards will not be impacted.

>What does this mean?

On March 27, the federal government signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law, and established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) which provides emergency funding to higher education institutions. Half of the HEERF dollars must go directly to students in the form of emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Your Financial Aid and Scholarships Office team collaborated with campus partners, including the Division of Equity and Inclusion, the Graduate Division, student government leaders, and the Student Advocate’s Office, to ensure relief funds are awarded and distributed in an equitable and inclusive way. Our goal is to maximize all available sources of relief funding to award as many eligible students as possible, as quickly as possible. 

Action Required

  • Review your CalCentral account. 

  • Sign up for direct deposit if you have not done so already, so these funds can be deposited directly to your bank account 

  • Visit CalCentral, “Profile” and update your local address if you are not able to sign up for direct deposit to ensure this funding reaches you.

Additional Resources

We know this is not a solution to address potential longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on your family’s financial situation, but rather one that allows us to address immediate needs based on your current 2019-20 FAFSA application. We are here to support you so that a change in your family’s financial circumstances does not become a roadblock to your ability to pay for school. Our 2020-21 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) appeal form went live on May 1, and we encourage you to submit an EFC appeal if your family’s financial circumstances have changed since you filed your 2020-21 FAFSA application. Before submitting an appeal, please review our Expected Family Contribution flyer to see if this is the right step for you. 

You can find COVID-19 related financial aid service and support updates online, including the awarding guidelines for CARES funding and changes to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

If you have questions, please do not reply to this email; the email address from which this message was sent is unmonitored. Please contact Cal Student Central online or by phone:

Online: studentcentral.berkeley.edu/open-case

Phone: (510) 664-9181, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

Please know that we are here to support you and stand in community with you during this incredibly challenging time. Please stay safe and take good care.